How Taking Kids Out Of The Classroom Makes Them Smarter

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Earlier this year book nerds the world over were positively smug with news that confirmed literature is actually, scientifically, empirically good for you. And now, according to a report at Fast Company, it seems art also has the power to make you a better person, too.

11,000 students were given a free tour of a new art museum. But it wasn’t your standard field trip, where some authority figure talks about art history and while students stare at their shoe laces. “The tours were student-directed, which means curators did not lecture. Instead, they gave students minimal information about each painting and spent the majority of the time facilitating discussion.”

Nearly a month later, students were asked to complete a survey that tested the students about the paintings they saw, their ability to empathize with the subjects, and also write an essay about a new painting that hadn’t seen. The results, when compared to a control group who hadn’t been to the museum, proved that in-person engagement increased a students understanding of art in both an academic and emotional way.

“It’s the difference between watching a televangelist and going to church. It’s why museums and churches invest in architecture. The act of going gets people into a mindset to receive the experience.”

If that’s the case, it may be just another reason why bookstores and libraries are so important to communities.

And while literature and art museums may not make students any better at math, it turns out they’re happier that way.

Read the article here.

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