Art can make science easier to rememberUsing art in science class helped students retain what they learned longer
Art and science may seem like polar opposites. One involves the creative flow of ideas, and the other cold, hard data — or so some people believe. In fact, the two have much in common. Both require a lot of creativity. People also use both to better understand the world around us. Now, a study finds, art also can help students remember better what they learned in science class.
Mariale Hardiman is an education specialist at Johns Hopkins University in Columbia, Md. Back when she was a school principal, she had noticed that students who used art in the classroom were more engaged. They might listen more intently. They might ask more questions. They might volunteer more ideas. What’s more, students seemed to remember more of what they had been taught when their lessons had involved art. But Hardiman knew the only way to test whether and how well art might really improve learning was to test it with an experiment. So she teamed up with other Johns Hopkins researchers and six local schools.
The researchers worked with teachers in 16 fifth-grade classrooms. The scientists took the traditional science lessons and created art-focused versions of them.