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I am absolutely a proponent of a well-rounded liberal arts education. One that includes music and art and teaches kids how to think critically. This might not be surprising coming from someone with degrees in design, journalism and religious studies. (Am I just trying to justify my own love of esoteric university classes?) But I have always though that the arts are good for kids, even if only in some sort of abstract, producing more well-rounded citizens sort of way.

But now, I have some facts to back me up. The Guggenheim Museum has done a study in which it sent artists into schools as part of a program called Learning Through Art. They then interviewed the children who had participated in the program as well as a group who had not. The study found that in six categories of literacy and critical thinking, including thorough description, hypothesizing and reasoning, students with a comprehensive arts education did perform better.

The program does not, however, increase student’s scores on standardized tests. Depending on your opinion of testing, you may do with that fact what you will. However, the results from the 2005-06 study and oral exam were almost identical to those from the 2004-05 study making it less likely that they are an anomaly. I say, everyone could benefit from a little more art.