Study Finds Benefits of Museum Visits

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Study Finds Benefits of Museum Visits

Image: Flickr user Liz West

A study at the University of Arkansas has found that the benefits of visiting a museum go far beyond an increased knowledge of art. Researchers there, who acknowledge the value of art for its own sake, provide concrete evidence for something many educators know intuitively: exposure to cultural institutions helps students academically and socially as well as culturally. The study found that a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art improved students’ memory, critical thinking, and empathy - even after just one hour in the museum.

 

Jay P. Greene, one of the researchers, remarked on how engaged students were with materials at the museum and suggested that one reason they performed so well was due to the chance to leave school and learn out in their community. He described the improvements students made as “measurable and significant,” and said that a cultural institution makes “a definite impression on students.” The result of the study may well increase districts’ support of field trips and partnerships with local cultural sites - and luckily for educators, many New York institutions are free and accessible.

 

For more information on this study, please click here.