He says, "We found a strong causal relationship between arts-based learning and improved creativity skills and innovation outcomes in adolescents, and between arts-based learning and increased collaborative behavior in adults."
• The high school students who had arts-based learning showed large and statistically significant pre/post improvements in such creative thinking skills as idea range (13%), problem analysis (50%) and number of solutions generated (37%). In many cases, students who had traditional STEM learning actually declined in these aspects of creative thinking -- so the overall differentials between arts-based and traditional learning was even more dramatic (idea range = 22%, problem analysis = 121%, solutions generated = 43%). Thus, it appears as though arts-based learning may be an effective way to "inoculate" learners against the collapse of creativity that may sometimes accompany traditional forms of high school learning.
• Arts-based learning had a far more powerful impact on the collaborative behaviors of adults than traditional learning, based on actual observed behaviors. Examples from the final week of the study: arts-based teams exhibited 56% more instances of empathic listening, 33% more instances of mutual respect being shown, 119% more instances of trust being demonstrated and 24% more sharing of leadership. All differences cited here are statistically significant.
• The innovation outputs of high school student teams who had arts-based learning showed 111% greater insight into the challenge, a 74% greater ability to clearly identify a relevant problem, a 43% improvement in problem solving, and their innovations had 68% more impact. All are statistically significant.
• 120 days after the study, high school students who had arts-based learning were 24% more likely to have been able to apply the learning to school, extracurricular, work or volunteer activities, than students who had traditional learning. They were also 44% more optimistic in their belief that the training would prove helpful in those realms in the future.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its grant agenda in art and science. Proposals that demonstrate how both subjects can be woven together in an artwork, or play, demonstration or lab experiment or even an educational effort costing no more than $10,000 to $100,000 were welcomed. A Congressional STEAM Caucus was formed last year led by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Elise Stefanik. The STEAM caucus “aims to change the vocabulary of education to recognize the benefits of both the arts and sciences and how these intersections will benefit our country’s future generations.”