Webinar Explores New Research on the Arts and Early Childhood

Webinar Explores New Research on the Arts and Early Childhood

What role can the arts play in early childhood learning?

The National Endowment for the Arts recently “hosted a 90-minute webinar titled ‘New Research on the Arts & Early Childhood: A Symposium.’ The webinar showcased a series of research articles that appeared in a special section of Early Childhood Research Quarterly (ECRQ) (4th Quarter issue, published in 2018).”

Webinar presenters included: Brian Kisida (University of Missouri), Eleanor Brown (West Chester University), and Amy Susman-Stillman (University of Minnesota), Rocio Galarza (Sesame Workshop) and Jane Best (Arts Education Partnership). The NEA notes that “additional introductory remarks were made by co-guest editors Adam Winsler (George Mason University) and Melissa Menzer (National Endowment for the Arts), as well as by Sunil Iyengar, director of the NEA’s Office of Research & Analysis.”

Importance of art in education

Here is a list of the individual papers covered in the special issue:

Field Trips Help Connect the Arts and Early Childhood Learning

A useful additional note highlighted in the webinar, according to Education Dive: “Field trips increase interest in the arts… Early exposure to the arts is important, researchers say — and may be especially important for children with the greatest needs — because students’ participation has been associated with higher achievement in school. Students with stronger early academic skills at age 4 and in 5th grade, however, are more likely to ‘self-select’ into arts programs in middle school.