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Advocates say STEAM education–with an “a” for the arts–should trump STEM education

STEM-STEAMSTEM education is, by now, familiar to educators and parents across the country. Without STEM knowledge, students won’t be well-prepared to enter college and the workforce. But some are hoping that STEAM education, which includes the arts, will receive more support in classrooms.

According to research compiled by the University of Florida, students who engage in music education often perform better on math tasks. For instance, one study showed that students who took music appreciation scored 61 points higher on their SAT verbal section and 42 points higher on the SAT math section.

The most common elementary school arts subjects include music (94 percent) and visual arts (83 percent), with a few schools offering dance (3 percent) and theater (4 percent).

(Next page: Comparing STEM vs. STEAM research)

Laura Ascione

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