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Research shows the arts make students smarter

Active involvement in the arts can improve a student’s motivation, self-esteem and academic results, according to joint research by the University of Sydney and the Australian Council for the Arts.

A two-year study by the university’s faculty of education tracked academic outcomes and personal well-being of 643 primary and high school students at 15 Australian schools. It also looked at student involvement in the arts at home and in the wider community.

Indicators assessed by the research team included homework completion, class participation, educational aspirations, motivation to study, enjoyment of school, life satisfaction, self-worth and a sense of meaning or purpose. They found students actively involved in dance, drama, music and visual arts had a more positive attitude to study and a higher level of personal well-being than those with no involvement.

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