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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Integrating the Arts into Science Teaching and Learning: a Literature Review

  • Author(s): Green, Kathryn
  • Trundle, Kathy Cabe
  • Shaheen, Maria
  • et al.

Combining arts with science builds on children’s interests in nature while allowing artistic expression.  Although educators often discuss integrating the arts into science learning, empirical support is relatively recent.  This thorough review of the education research literature on arts integration synthesizes previous empirical studies and theoretical literature published on arts integration, how the arts are integrated into science teaching, and the efficacy of arts integration for science learning.  It provides evidence that arts integration provides positive outcomes in important areas such as learning, school climate, and teacher collaboration.  This review also discusses evidence regarding obstacles to arts integration such as time, professional development, and ongoing support for teachers.  Finally, we offer implications for future research, including the need for more rigorous empirical studies on integrating the arts into science teaching and learning.

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