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Helene Robinson

Arts Integration and the Success of Disadvantaged Students:  A Research Evaluation

Helene Robinson, School of Education, Department of Human Services and Counseling


Does arts integration contribute to student success for disadvantaged student populations?  The introduction section compares the academic performance and arts education in countries outperforming the United States on the recent TIMSS and PIRLS and makes the argument for using arts integration as way to teach the Common Core standards and align instruction to the Universal Design for Learning principles.  This evaluation of research helps to support the evidence base by examining the quality of studies using arts integration with disadvantaged student populations, including economically disadvantaged, English language learners, and students with disabilities, published between 1995 and 2011.  Four hundred and fifty three studies were explored resulting in an inclusion of forty-four studies for this analysis.  Studies were categorized by the following:  single art integration, multi-arts integration, effects of arts integration on students with disabilities, and effects of arts integration on school climate.  Studies were evaluated for their research design, implementation, and effects and results depicted positive effects and potentially positive effects.   Policy implications and suggestions for future research using the author’s proposed theoretical framework are discussed.