You may not think that art and science go together, but a new study finds that they do. According to Mariale Hardiman, an education specialist at Johns Hopkins University, art can affect how well students learn science. Before working at Johns Hopkins, Hardiman was a school principal. She noticed that art helped students in her school learn their science lessons. Hardiman joined other Johns Hopkins researchers and worked with six local schools on an experiment to find out if art can really help students learn better. They worked with 350 fifth-graders and put them into either a traditional science class or a science class with a focus on art. Students in the traditional science classes read out loud from books and used charts and graphs. Students in the art-focused science classes sang or rapped the information they were learning and made collages and other kinds of art related to the science topic. All students learned the same information but in different ways. Students stayed in the classes for three weeks and then switched to the other way of learning so that every student had a traditional science class and an art-based science class. Students were tested before and after each part of the experiment and also ten weeks after they learned the science lessons. Hardiman also looked at the students’ reading abilities.
The researchers found that students reading at or above their grade level did well in traditional and art-focused science classes, but the students who were below grade reading level learned more of the science lesson if it was taught in the art-focused class. The researchers also found that students who started the experiment in the traditional science class learned better after they switched to the art-focused class, but students who started in the art-focused class did well when they switched to the traditional science class because they took some of the art-focused learning methods with them. Hardiman said, “This suggests that the arts may help students apply creative ways of learning on their own.”
I chose this article because I love art and science and it is exciting to put them together. This research is important because art can help children remember more of what they learn in science class and maybe in other classes too. Art and creativity make learning fun and can help students remember what they learn for a longer time. This research relates to my science fair project because I used creativity and art to display my project results. I think the artistic part made the project more enjoyable and helped me remember the data better. I agree with Hardiman who said that, “all educators should learn how to use the arts as an instructional tool to promote learning.”
By Sadie 4L