Access to community cultural institutions such as museums, zoos, and theaters has the potential to improve students’ educational experiences. This article estimates the impact of School in the Park, a museum-based educational program for low-income students that takes place within the cultural institutions and museums of San Diego’s Balboa Park. We identify the impact of participation in the program on short- and long-term academic and behavioral outcomes using longitudinal, student-level data since 1996; natural variation in the timing of program implementation at two elementary schools; and control groups of students from schools that did not receive the program. Findings indicate that participation in the program has positive short-term impacts, but program impacts were insignificant in the long run.
Museums as Classrooms: The Academic and Behavioral Impacts of “School in the Park”
American Educational Research Association