Research in the field of art/dance education is a critical component of the effort to firmly establish dance as a viable academic pursuit. Empirical evidence provides the foundation for aligning the benefits of arts education with that of traditional academic education, validating its efficacy in the eyes of an often skeptical public and legislature, and giving credence to the belief that the arts are integral to the wellbeing and functioning of a society and its culture.

Research resources are available through organizations and publications.

Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts offers access to action-oriented research and research services in support of arts education. Highlights of arts education research.
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Arts Education Partnership
Arts Education Partnership (AEP) “is a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic and government organizations that demonstrate and promote the essential role of the arts in the learning and development of every child and in the improvement of America’s schools.” AEP Research Reports.
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Arts and Learning Special Interest Group
Arts and Learning Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association is a forum for discussion of issues related to the arts and education. All arts disciplines are entertained and a wide range of research techniques are represented. The International Journal of Education and the Arts is an AERA-affiliated electronic journal with articles dating back to 2000.
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Congress on Research in Dance
Congress on Research in Dance was founded in 1965 “to encourage scholars in dance to research, publish, and discuss material from all areas of dance.” “Dance Research Journal, published twice yearly by the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), carries scholarly articles, book reviews, a list of books and journals received, and reports of scholarly conferences, archives, and other projects of interest to the field.” It aims to advance the common goals and discrete roles of HPERD professionals who are committed to improving the quality of life through the movement arts and sciences, sport, and leisure.
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Guggenheim Museum
Important research findings in arts education were made public by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum July 27, 2006 regarding the museum’s Learning Through Arts outreach program.  Correlations were established between literacy and critical thinking skills and arts education.  Although the study did not find that language arts standardized test scores improved, benefits were evident in oral testing of the New York third graders in the areas of extended focus, hypothesizing and providing multiple interpretations.  Detailed information is available at the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through the Arts website.
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The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance is available through subscription. A publication of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, its articles seek to “advance the common goals and discrete roles of HPERD professionals who are committed to improving the quality of life through the movement arts and sciences, sport, and leisure.”
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Jstor is an extensive database of archived scholarly journals. Dance journals are listed in the Performing Arts section, located in the Arts and Sciences III Collection. The dance-specific titles are “Dance Chronicle” (1977-1999), “Dance Research: The Journal of the Society of Dance Research” (1983-2003), “Dance Research Journal” (1969-1974) (1974-2001). The link for each title will take you to a description of the publication. Access to the journal itself is available through institutional membership. The list of Ohio Participating Institutions includes 57 universities, colleges, academies, libraries and foundations, 15 Ohio Community Colleges, and 5 Ohio Secondary Schools.
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The National Arts Education Association
The National Arts Education Association (NAEA) has a page of Research resource links.
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The National Association of Schools of Dance Intitutional Research
The National Association of Schools of Dance Institutional Research is a resource offered by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), through the Higher Education Arts Data Service(HEADS), its “comprehensive management data on the arts in higher education”.
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The National Dance Education Organization
The National Dance Education Organization’s Research in Dance Education is an initiative funded by the US Department of Education to examine. It “identifies patterns, trends, and gaps in research; determines research priorities for dance education and initiates new research; builds national/state networks to effect change in policy and practice; and establishes Research Centers for Dance Education.” A database is available at their website. The NDEO’s publication, Journal of Dance Education, is available through membership to the organization.
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Research Consortium
The Research Consortium advances, promotes and disseminates quality research within and across the disciplines and the professions served by American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Research and Dance. The RC has three publications:

  • “Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport” (RQES), the official journal of the Research Consortium, provides readers with the latest scholarly research in areas related to exercise and sport science. A special pre-Convention Supplement is published annually that includes research abstracts accepted for the upcoming AAHPERD National Convention.
  • “Physical Activity Today, a quarterly publication distributed to 22,000 professionals, communicates the relevance of newly published research in the HPERD disciplines to the practitioner and to the public.”
  • “Research Tracks, a members-only, on-line newsletter, focuses on new developments of interest within the Research Consortium.”

Research findings are presented at the AAHPERD National Convention and Exposition. “Membership in the Research Consortium is available free of charge to members of the five National Associations.”

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Social Behavior and Personality
“The Effect of Ballet Dance Attire on Body and Self-Perceptions of Female Dancers”, a research study published this year in the journal, Social Behavior and Personality [34(8), 991-998] hypothesizes that the tights and leotards worn by female ballet students negatively impacts physical self-image. Data pertaining to the use of mirrors was discussed in reference to earlier related studies and as it related to image issues. Authors Brena R. Price and Terry F. Pettijohn II are on the faculty of Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. This research study caught the interest of writer, Richard Morin, a senior editor for the Pew Research Center who included it in his Unconventional Wisdom column for the Washington Post (9/06/2006).
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New Horizons for Learning
New Horizons for Learning, an electronic educational resource, offers a page of links for Art in Education Articles. Articles specifically on the Neuroscience of Learning are also available.
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