The references below are published studies from the following call for educational outcomes, in collobration with SEAD.  References are listed by appropriate area and then alphabetical by author. 

K-12 / Higher Education / Professional Education / Informal Education / Museums

The SEAD network is interested in learning more about published studies in which math, science and engineering education is integrated with music, art, dance, theater, literature, poetry, creative writing and/or design education in either formal or informal settings, K-12 through professional schooling.  We are particularly interested in studies that have formally evaluated educational outcomes resulting from the integration of SEAD subjects. These outcomes include, but are not limited to: skill and knowledge acquisition and transfer; problem finding; standardized test scores; classroom success; visual imaging, pattern recognition, empathizing and modeling ability; measures of creativity; etc.  We would appreciate copies of any such studies, preferably as PDFs, but in whatever formats are available. The types of information we seek and the general format we are using for the collection of data are illustrated in this chart

To contribute, please email Dr. Robert Root-Bernstein: <[email protected]>


The following evaluation procedure has been developed by INTIME, Integrating New Technologies in the Methods of Education

 INTIME Evaluation Overview:  Two parallel evaluation efforts are designed to address the project effectiveness both formatively and summatively. The main categories of the formative stage of the evaluation process are as follows:

a)      Teacher Reflective Practice
b)      Website Resources
c)      Project Progress

For the full procedure, please visit

Repko, Allen F., 2009. Assessing Interdisciplinary Learning Outcomes. Working Paper, School of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington. 

Assessing outcomes for interdisciplinary courses and program involves establishing outcomes that interdisciplinarians typically claim for their courscs and programs. identifying four cognitive abilities that the literature on cognition and instmction suggest are hallmarks of interdisciplinary leaming, and showing how these abilities may be expressed in the language of assessment and assessed on both the course and program levels.

Repko, Allen (2008), Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory. Sage Publications

First published in 2008, this book was hailed as the only comprehensive and systematic presentation of the interdisciplinary research process and the theory that informs it. This revised and expanded Second Edition reflects the burgeoning interest in, and substantial research on, all aspects of interdisciplinarity since then. Its key contribution is a more complete treatment of integration, particularly how to integrate insights from diverse perspectives.  Allen F. Repko provides an easy-to-follow decision-making process, highlighting the foundational and complementary role of the disciplines in interdisciplinary work. He includes numerous examples from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and applied fields to illustrate how to create common ground and how to construct a more comprehensive interdisciplinary understanding and reflect on, test, and communicate it. The book is ideally suited for active learning and problem-based pedagogical approaches as well as for team teaching and other more traditional strategies.

Repko, Allen F., William H. Newell, and Rick Szostak.Case Studies in Interdisciplinary Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc , 2012. 

Case Studies in Interdisciplinary Research successfully applies the model of the interdisciplinary research process outlined by author Allen F. Repko in Interdisciplinary Research, (SAGE ©2008) to a wide spectrum of challenging research questions. Self-contained case studies, written by leaders in interdisciplinary research, and utilizing best-practice techniques in conducting interdisciplinary research shows students how to apply the interdisciplinary research process to a variety of problems.


“Assessment in Art Education.” The Art of Education.  Web. 22 Jun 2013. <>.

This booklet provides examples of what the top schools in our nation are doing regarding arts assessments. Through these models, we can gain a greater understanding of what is best practice and take this knowledge and apply it to fit into our district. Assessment is not one size fits all, and it’s important to note that not one assessment plan exists that finds that perfect balance when assessing the arts. This study covers three basic areas:  large scale assessments, district assessment plans and sample portfolios for K-12 classes, including Advanced Placement courses at the high school level.

Winner, Ellen, and Vincent Vincent-Laandrin. “Art for Arts Sake? The impact of arts education.” Center for Education Research and Innovation. OECD. Web. 22 Jun 2013. <>.

Arts education is often said to be a means of developing critical and creative thinking. Arts education has also been argued to enhance performance in non-arts academic subjects such as mathematics, science, reading and writing, and to strengthen students’ academic motivation, self-confidence, and ability to communicate and co-operate effectively. Arts education thus seems to have a positive impact on the three subsets of skills that we define as “skills for innovation”: subject-based skills, including in non-arts subjects; skills in thinking and creativity; and behavioural and social skills.

This report examines the state of empirical knowledge about the impact of arts education on these kinds of outcomes. The kinds of arts education examined include arts classes in school (classes in music, visual arts, theatre, and dance), arts-integrated classes (where the arts are taught as a support for an academic subject), and arts study undertaken outside of school (e.g. private music lessons; out-of-school classes in theatre, visual arts, and dance). The report does not deal with education about the arts or cultural education, which may be included in all kinds of subjects.


Jarvinen MK, Jarvinen LZ. 2012. Elevating student potential: Creating digital video to teach neurotransmission.  The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE), Fall 2012, 11(1):A6-A11

Students today have unprecedented access to technology, the Internet, and social media. Their nearly ubiquitous use of these platforms is well documented. Given that today’s students may be primed to learn using a different medium, incorporating various technological elements into the classroom in a manner compatible with traditional approaches to teaching becomes a challenge. We recently designed and implemented a strategy that capitalized on this knowledge. Students in their first neuroscience course were required to create a 3-5 minute digital video using video-making freeware available on any Mac or PC. They used images, text, animation, as well as downloaded music to describe the fundamental process of neurotransmission as it applies to a topic of their choice. In comparison to students taught using other more traditional approaches to demonstrate the process of neurotransmission, we observed that students who took part in the video-making project exhibited better understanding of the neurological process at multiple levels, as defined by Bloom’s revised taxonomy. This was true even of students who had no aspirations of pursuing a Neuroscience career, thus suggesting that there was an overall increased level of student engagement regardless of personal career interests. The utility of our approach was validated by both direct and indirect assessments. Importantly, this particular strategy to teaching difficult concepts offers a high degree of flexibility allowing it to potentially be incorporated into any upper-level Neuroscience course.

Walther J, Kellam N, Costantino T, Cramond B. 2010. Integrative learning in a synthesis and design studio: A phenomenological inquiry.  40th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference October 27 – 30, 2010, Washington, DC, S2F1-6.

Engineering education is uniquely qualified to make strides towards both a more integrated curriculum and understanding the benefits of an integrated learning experiences, due to the vast amounts of experience with innovative integrative curricular structures. This paper briefly describes an innovative approach to integrate student learning through a four year Synthesis and Design Studio. This provides the context for a phenomenological research study that investigated the nature of students’ integrative learning processes. More specifically, the study examined integrative learning through the lens of students’ experiences of the focus on deliberate reflection and engagement in the authentic interdisciplinary setting during an interdisciplinary Studio offered in the Fall of 2009. This study consisted of the interpretive analysis of individual reflection reports written by each student after participating in a range of reflective activities over the course of the semester. In addition, the qualitative data included open-ended responses collected from a mid and end-of-semester survey that was conducted externally. The phenomenological analysis of the students’ experiences suggests that their development of a professional way of being as a key aspect of integrative learning that emerged gradually from the complex influences of the interdisciplinary educational experience and can be fostered by deliberate, continuous reflection.


Naghshineh S, Hafler JP, Miller AR, Blanco MA, Lipsitz SR, Dubroff RP, Khoshbin S, Katz JT. Formal art observation training improves medical students’ visual diagnostic skills. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2008; 23(7): 991-7.

BACKGROUND  Despite evidence of inadequate physical examination skills among medical students, teaching these skills has declined. One method of enhancing inspection skills is teaching “visual literacy,” the ability to reason physiology and pathophysiology from careful and unbiased observation.

OBJECTIVE  To improve students’ visual acumen through structured observation of artworks, understanding of fine arts concepts and applying these skills to patient care.

DESIGN  Prospective, partially randomized pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis.

PARTICIPANTS  Twenty-four pre-clinical student participants were compared to 34 classmates at a similar stage of training.

INTERVENTION  Training the Eye: Improving the Art of Physical Diagnosis consists of eight paired sessions of art observation exercises with didactics that integrate fine arts concepts with physical diagnosis topics and an elective life drawing session.

MEASUREMENTS  The frequency of accurate observations on a 1-h visual skills examination was used to evaluate pre- vs. post-course descriptions of patient photographs and art imagery. Content analysis was used to identify thematic categories. All assessments were blinded to study group and pre- vs. post-course evaluation.

RESULTS  Following the course, class participants increased their total mean number of observations compared to controls (5.41±0.63 vs. 0.36±0.53, p<0.0001) and had increased sophistication in their descriptions of artistic and clinical imagery. A ‘dose-response’ was found for those who attended eight or more sessions, compared to participants who attended seven or fewer sessions (6.31+0.81 and 2.76+1.2, respectively, p alt=” ” title=”” v:shapes=”_x0000_i1035″>=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS  This interdisciplinary course improved participants’ capacity to make accurate observations of art and physical findings.

Shapiro J, Rucker L, Beck J. Training the clinical eye and mind: using the arts to develop medical students’ observational and pattern recognition skills. Medical Education 2006; 40(3):263-8.

INTRODUCTION:  Observation, including identification of key pieces of data, pattern recognition, and interpretation of significance and meaning, is a key element in medical decision making. Clinical observation is taught primarily through preceptor modelling during the all-important clinical years. No single method exists for communicating these skills, and medical educators have periodically experimented with using arts-based training to hone observational acuity. The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand the similarities and differences between arts-based and clinical teaching approaches to convey observation and pattern recognition skills.

METHOD:  A total of 38 Year 3 students participated in either small group training with clinical photographs and paper cases (group 1), or small group training using art plus dance (group 2), both consisting of 3 2-hour sessions over a 6-month period.

FINDINGS:  Students in both conditions found value in the training they received and, by both self- and instructor-report, appeared to hone observation skills and improve pattern recognition. The clinically based condition appeared to have been particularly successful in conveying pattern recognition concepts to students, probably because patterns presented in this condition had specific correspondence with actual clinical situations, whereas patterns in art could not be generalised so easily to patients. In the arts-based conditions, students also developed skills in emotional recognition, cultivation of empathy, identification of story and narrative, and awareness of multiple perspectives.

CONCLUSION:  The interventions studied were naturally complementary and, taken together, can bring greater texture to the process of teaching clinical medicine by helping us see a more complete ‘picture’ of the patient.



CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) lists references to evaluations of informal science education programs on their website at

Evaluative studies included on this site concern all levels of education, from children to adults, programs at museums, after-school programs, citizen-scientist programs, professional development workshops and conferences, and public programs.