Arts education has declined in U.S. schools over the past 50 years and continues to drop as schools tighten their belts. Some arts advocates say that slashing programs in theater, music, and art is like cutting off your nose to spite your face—such activities, they argue, actually enhance academic performance in core literacies such as math and reading. Others say that the evidence that arts education translates into better performance in these basic areas is weak. Does learning the violin actually increase IQ or translate to better grades? Can drawing help students learn geometry? What other benefits can the arts provide, both in and beyond the classroom?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 14 March, on this page to discuss this topic with researchers who study the relationship between arts and intelligence.
Daniel Levitin is the author of two books: the international bestsellers This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs. He is also the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, where he runs the Laboratory for Music Cognition, Perception and Expertise.
Keith Oatley is Professor Emeritus of cognitive psychology in the Dept. of Human Development and Applied Psychology, University of Toronto. Among Keith's interests have been research in physiological psychology, visual perception, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and epidemiological psychiatry.
Emily Underwood is a staff writer at Science. She loves writing about water and energy resources, anthropology, science policy, environmental science, and biology.