Photo by Greg Mooney.

Georgia Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts Research

Georgia Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts Research

o   The Alliance Theatre Institute for Educators and Teaching Artists is proud to share the research from our 2005-2008 and 2008-2012 Arts in Education – Model Development and Dissemination Grants. (AEMDD) In these two randomized control studies, we tested the hypothesis that Kindergarten students whose teachers participated in a multi-year program of Wolf Trap would show greater improvements in language development and in academic achievement than children in control schools. We found strong support for this hypothesis with both low-income African-American students and low-income Latino English Language Learning (ELL) students.

o   In our first study from 2005-2008, we showed that instructional strategies integrating drama enhanced communication and academic achievement in low-income Kindergarteners. Our statistical analysis indicated that compared to children in control schools, children who received the intervention showed significantly greater improvement in grammar development and in quantitative and qualitative measures of writing during their Kindergarten year. Further, these students showed increases in report card grades and standardized test scores in two subsequent years of schooling without further intervention. Students classified as having special needs showed an even greater benefit from the project over time.

o   In our second study from 2008-2012 with ELL Kindergarten students, we found that the intervention had a significant and positive effect on students’ English oral language development, their English story writing skills (increasing the use of words, sentences, emotion, and dialogue), as well as academic measures of language arts and mathematics.

o   Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts completed a study of their Early STEM/Arts program and found that students in the classrooms of teachers who participated in the Early STEM/Arts program in the first year received the equivalent of 1.3 additional months of learning, or 26 additional days, compared to their peers in the control groups. In the second year, researchers found a sustained impact amounting to 1.7 additional months of learning, or 34 additional days, even though not all students in the second year continued in classrooms with teachers participating in the program.

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