The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) has published key findings demonstrating the impact of cultural learning on the lives of children and young people.
Amongst the findings, based on a review of all available large-scale English language data including from the US, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, are:
- Learning through arts and culture improves attainment in all subjects
- Participation in structured arts activities increases cognitive abilities
- Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree
- The employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment
- Students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer and are 20% more likely to vote as young adults
The full research findings are published here, together with ImagineNation: The Case for Cultural Learning, a new report which draws on the research findings and which sets out how and why the arts and heritage have the power to transform young people’s lives. ImagineNation is available to download free.
“I would like to propose that we let the imagination take its place at the heart of learning, and that we create a climate in which it can flourish. We need discovery; making; doing; exploring; creating; critical thinking; seeing; hearing; experiencing. Children have to be introduced to the arts in every form.”
“The key issue for me, as Children’s Commissioner, is that learners’ entitlements are captured in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and we are bound by its Articles: 28 the right to education, whoever and wherever you are; 29 that such education should be about your personality, skills, talents and aptitudes in the round; 31 that you are entitled to leisure, culture and play activities. We are in effect by this international treaty, given permission and exhortation to work to ensure our children are rounded citizens, ready to take on what the world asks of them. Involvement in cultural learning, as Ofsted and others have said many times, is part of fulfilling their –and our – promise.”
Dr Maggie Atkinson,
The Children’s Commissioner for England
Signatories of the report are: