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ERIC Number: EJ1125147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1932-7528
Using Arts Integration to Make Science Learning Memorable in the Upper Elementary Grades: A Quasi-Experimental Study
Graham, Nicholas James; Brouillette, Liane
Journal for Learning through the Arts, v12 n1 2016
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have brought a stronger emphasis on engineering into K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) instruction. Introducing the design process used in engineering into science classrooms simulated a dialogue among some educators about adding the arts to the mix. This led to proposals for a STEAM (STEM + arts) curriculum, as well as warnings that integrating the arts would weaken STEM instruction. The study summarized in this article tested the hypothesis that the arts might provide upper-elementary students, who were still concrete thinkers, with a powerful means of envisioning phenomena that they could not directly observe. This study investigated the impact of STEAM lessons on physical science learning in grades 3 to 5. Ten out of the 55 high-poverty (Title 1) elementary schools in a large urban district were randomly chosen as treatment schools and divided into two cohorts. Using a quasi-experimental design that holds general student scientific achievement constant, the study found that students exposed to the STEAM lessons demonstrated greater improvement on physical science benchmark assessments than students exposed to a STEM-only physical science curriculum.
Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. University of California Irvine, School of Biological Sciences III, Office 2656, Irvine, CA 92697. Tel: 949-824-4317; Fax: 949-824-2965; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A