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The art of Head Start: Intensive arts integration associated with advantage in school readiness for economically disadvantaged children

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Description:
The present study examined the impact of intensive arts integration on school readiness for economically disadvantaged children attending Head Start preschool. Participants were 265 children, ages 3-5 years. Of these, 197 attended a fully arts-integrated Head Start, where children received daily music, dance, and visual arts classes in addition to homeroom, and 68 attended a matched comparison program that did not include arts classes. The Bracken Basic Concepts Scale, Third Edition- Receptive (BBCS-3:R) was used to measure children's school readiness at the start and end of a year of preschool attendance. According to a repeated-measures multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), children at the arts-integrated Head Start showed greater gains in school readiness compared to their peers at the comparison program. Univariate tests revealed that attendance at the arts-integrated preschool was associated with greater gains on a general school readiness composite as well as in specific concept areas of texture/material and self/social awareness. Findings suggest that the arts can add value to Head Start preschool. Implications concern the arts as a vehicle for equalizing educational opportunities for young, economically disadvantaged children. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

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