Students who attended a live theater performance showed better knowledge of vocabulary words, more tolerance, and an improved ability to read others’ emotions when compared with students who did not attend, says apublished by Education Next.
The researchers, including Jay P. Greene, an education reform professor at the University of Arkansas, looked at 49 groups of students in Fayetteville, Ark.—22 of whom were randomly assigned to see a production of either “Hamlet” or “A Christmas Carol” and 29 that did not receive tickets. The 7th-12th grade students, 670 in all, were asked to fill out surveys about 50 days after the treatment groups saw the plays.
Even though the playgoers scored higher on a variety of measures, the live play did not increase their interest in seeing future performances.
A version of this article appeared in the October 29, 2014 edition of Education Week as Arts Education