MEDIA ADVISORY: Researcher to Speak on Relevance of Arts, Physical Education and Play in Children's Academic Success at U.Va. Feb. 26

February 25, 2010 — Given programs now on the chopping blocks in public schools throughout Virginia due to K-12 budget cuts, the topic of a talk being held tomorrow at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education is timely.

Adele Diamond, professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, will deliver the talk, which is free and open to the public. It will take place from 11 a.m. to noon in the Curry Library Innovation Commons.

"What we are learning about the brain is turning some ideas about education on their heads. Play, physical education and the arts, rather than taking time away from activities that promote academic achievement, may themselves enhance academic outcomes," she wrote in her abstract.

"There's a reason why dance, play, storytelling and music have continued to be part of the human condition for tens of thousands of years and are found in every culture.

"Research shows that activities that often get squeezed out of school curricula, including the arts, physical exercise, and play are excellent for developing executive functions and might be important for academic success and for success later in life."

Her talk is part of the Curry Education Research Lectureship Series.

More about her talk and research is on the Curry Web site.

— By Rebecca Arrington