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An historical perspective: The value of theatre arts in American schools

10 December 1989


Using data from literature, including studies, opinion papers, articles, surveys, government documents and books related to the documentation of the qualitative and quantitative value of arts, and specifically theatre arts, in education, the relationships between the arts and student achievement in the areas of social skills, attitudes, creativity and academics were studied.

A significant correlation could not be found due to the deficiency of powerful, sophisticated data in the area of arts education. The possible reasons for this lack of data were analyzed in terms of an historical perspective of the arts in the American education. Recommendations were made regarding the breadth and scope of empirical research in arts education necessary to the future of the arts in the United States' schools. The development of an extensive system of evaluation in the arts to incorporate both the mechanics of art and the essence of art was called for.


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