Arts Integration and the Success of Disadvantaged Students: A Research Evaluation

Document Type


Publication Date



arts integration, Common Core, disadvantaged students, research, Universal Design for Learning


Does arts integration contribute to student success for disadvantaged student populations? The introduction to this article compares students’ academic performance and arts education in countries outperforming the United States on the recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and makes the argument for using arts integration as a way to teach the Common Core standards and align instruction to the Universal Design for Learning principles. This evaluation of research helps to support the evidence base by examining the quality of studies published between 1995 and 2011 investigating the use of arts integration with disadvantaged student populations, including economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Four hundred fifty-three studies were explored, resulting in the inclusion of forty-four studies in this analysis. Studies were categorized as the following: single art integration, multi-arts integration, effects of arts integration on students with disabilities, or effects of arts integration on school climate. Studies were evaluated for their research design, implementation, and effects, and results depicted positive effects and potentially positive effects. Policy implications and suggestions for future research using the author's proposed theoretical framework are also discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Arts Education Policy Review, v. 114, issue 4, p. 191-204

Was this content written or created while at USF?