Dr. James Catterall, Collaborative Thought Leader and founding director of the Center for Research on Creativity, passed away unexpectedly last year. Collaborative Advisory Council member James Palmarini, Director of Educational Policy for the Educational Theatre Association published a blog in honor of Dr. Catterall in which he wrote, “The arts education community lost one of its champions….Dr. Catterall has been called “the father of arts education research” and I don’t think that’s hyperbole. Over four decades, his landmark studies showcasing the impact of arts experiences on students has been the benchmark that advocates, policy makers, teachers, fellow researchers and a host of others have used to make the case for arts education programs in our schools and communities….His work serves as the bible of proof as to why every student should have the opportunity to engage in art making as part of their school career. Reports like Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development and his seminal longitudinal study, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, in which he tracked the connections between high involvement in arts learning and general academic success in students over a twelve-year period, offer rigorous evidence of what those of us working with students—whether in theatre, music, dance, or visual arts—have witnessed time and time again: that encouraging children to create and share the art that they make and do helps them become better, more positive human beings able to make their way in the world today and for the rest of their lives.“
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