When it comes to scholastic learning, the words science, math and English are first to come to mind. But arts education?
Research shows that integrating arts with other subjects can help raise students’ achievement levels and promote growth in positive social skills, empathy and social tolerance. Students with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, as well as audio, verbal, language and visual deficits, benefit greatly from a performing arts education. Award-winning actor Mark Ruffalo is a testament to that, noting that as a child with dyslexia, the theater and dramatic arts helped him learn more about himself and better express who he is.
Dr. Scott Gaynor, head of the Stephen Gaynor School, a specialized school for students with learning differences, says that the theater arts in particular have shown to improve expressive and receptive language skills, as well as comprehension skills in reading and math skills.
In the interview below, Dr. Scott Gaynor shares more about how a performing arts education is beneficial for students with learning differences to build self-confidence and become more confident learners.
About Dr. Scott Gaynor
Following a career in banking, Dr. Gaynor joined the Stephen Gaynor School as Head of School in 1994. He attended Columbia University, Teachers College, securing a Master of Arts in Private Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Organization and Leadership. His research focused on the way in which teacher support of children with special needs in public schools affected student outcomes.
About The Stephen Gaynor School
A pioneer in special education, Stephen Gaynor School is an independent, nonprofit Pre-K, Lower, and Middle School in NYC for bright students with learning differences, including Attention Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), speech, language, and reading delays such as dyslexia. Founded in 1962, Stephen Gaynor School provides a highly individualized educational program in a rich, rigorous, and nurturing environment in which students gain the skills and confidence necessary to learn, grow, and reach their full potential.
Courtesy: Stephen Gaynor School