The College Board has done research on several topics for the group that is revising the National Standards for Arts Education, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. The one I have looked at is “Child Development and Arts Education: A review of Current Research and Best Practices.” The charts that start on page 9, “Overview of recommended pedagogical approaches,” struck me as a very useful resource. Dance, music, theatre and visual arts are covered for early childhood, elementary, middle school, high school, and college.
From the webpage Introduction:
Although the body of research is growing that links arts participation to ever-widening developmental gains, there appear to be fewer resources available that explain the ways in which the latest research in cognitive, social, and emotional development in children and young adults may inform the instructional practices of arts educators. The following series of literature reviews aims to address the need for this particular type of information: linking current developmental research with recommended best practices for educators of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts students from grades PreK-14.
http://nccas.wikispaces.com/Child+Development+Research (There is a link to download the PDF file)
In addition are the following research papers and there are also online webinars on the research. (Look under College Board Research in the navigation box on the left of the screen.)
College Standards PDF
International Standards PDF
State Arts Standards PDF
21st Century Gap Analysis PDF
Other topics are planned for the future so check back for them and on the progress of the writing teams.