Cognitive Transfer from Arts Education to Non-arts Outcomes: Research Evidence and Policy Implications
Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner

This chapter reports methods, findings, and implications for research and policy from 10 meta analytic reviews of the effects on non-arts cognition from instruction in various art forms. Three analyses demonstrate generalizable, causal relationships: classroom drama and verbal achievement, music listening and spatial reasoning, and music learning and spatial reasoning. Five do not allow causal conclusions: multi-arts and academic achievement, arts rich instruction
and creativity, visual arts and reading, dance and reading, music and reading. Findings for two analyses are equivocal: dance and spatial reasoning, music and mathematics. The authors urge arts education researchers to keep research syntheses in mind when conducting studies and advise policy-makers to support arts programs that demonstrate learning in the arts. (See above for PDF link)