It comes as no surprise to Waldorf educators, but research is confirming what we have long known — integrating arts into the curriculum improves learning.

The New York Times recently covered research about how the arts improve memory.  NPR’s MindShift tells us that adding time for dance, theater and visual arts improves student’s writing skills and compassion.

Johns Hopkins researchers recently found that STEM learning with the arts incorporated (STEAM) helped students remember their lessons for longer.

“The researchers found that students who memorized and sang a song with lyrics that held science-based lessons remembered the content much longer and with better detail than most classmates who tried to retain textbook content learned by rote without a song.”

And, when 42 Houston schools won a lottery to take place in an arts initiative, Education Week reported that they got much more than they bargained for including reductions in disciplinary infractions, increases in compassion for others and improvements in writing achievement.

It’s time to stop thinking of art as an elective and start seeing it for what it is: an integral and essential subject in education.