Impact and Value – Developing 21st century skills

An annotated selection of readings for school leaders and teachers


Annotated comment

The Arts and Australian Education: Realising Potential


Ewing's very timely report on state of the arts in Australian Schools. See 'Setting the scene': an overview of the value of the arts by examples of international research studies; 'International research over the last decade': an overview of research into the value of arts education in last ten years; 'Recent developments in arts research methodologies': recent research into the value of arts education; 'The Arts as critical pedagogy': arts education successes in Australian schools.

Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: A 12-year National Study of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults


This study offers important insights about the way learning in the arts transfers to other disciplines. Statistical tracking proves that intensive involvement in the arts during middle years and high school is a foundation for higher levels of achievement and college attainment, and also with adult civic participation.

ArtsSmarts Impact on Student Engagement: First Research Report, 2007–2009


ArtsSmarts places artists in the schools and communities and funding is provided to allow schools and communities to offer arts-related activities linked to educational outcomes. This paper develops ArtsSmarts' theory of learning centred on the concept of student engagement and synthesises the results of approximately a dozen internal research studies on student learning and program effectiveness conducted during ArtsSmarts' first eight years.

Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning


Still the seminal report for late 20th century education that concisely evidences the instrumental and intrinsic benefits of arts education.

DICE: Drama Improves Lisbon Key Competences in Education


An international EU-supported project, a cross-cultural research study investigating the effects of educational theatre and drama on five of the eight Lisbon Key Competences: See in particular 'A Bunch Meaning Business: an Entrepreneurial Education programme', (University of Gdansk and POMOST, Poland) pp.115–121 for an example of educational drama used to facilitate teamwork, business and entrepreneurial competencies.

ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning

The UK Cultural Learning Alliance conducted a broad ranging survey of existing English language data on the instrumental outcomes of cultural learning, using only evidence from cohort studies with large sample sizes (typically 12,000).

Educating for the Creative Workforce: Rethinking Arts and Education


This is a report conducted by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, in partnership with the Australia Council. It aims to provide a narrative literature review designed to inform policy, provide evidence, and identify major gaps in the existing literature.

The report tracks research which analyses claims for the arts in education, identifies their research strategies and methods, provides assessment of the rigour of this research, identifies action strategies and operational priorities, and provides a strategic overview of how the researched literature connects to contemporary approaches to education. Issues surrounding creativity and innovation and their roles in developing a workforce for the 21st century are pivotal concepts under discussion.

This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.