Cultural Participation and Arts Education

Several of our projects with a focus on empowerment study a broad range of cultural leisure activities that are often neglected by educational large-scale studies. These activities include musicking (in elementary and secondary students), painting, reading and writing, and sports.

The projects of this research point focus on cross-curricular effects at the interface of intelligence, personality, and action-regulation. We study the interplay of cognitive abilities including working memory, intelligence, and problem-solving strategies, personality traits including the big five and dispositional aspects of self-regulation. Regarding the targeted populations, our projects cover a wide age range from primary school age to emerging adulthood.


How can practical music performance competencies and accompanying activity-related behavioral, normative, and control beliefs be diagnosed? How may beliefs and competencies be fostered by interventions featuring education in music? And how do the participants experience these interventions?
Two sub-projects investigated these questions. In the sub-project at FAU, we focused on the development and implementation of a musical education intervention with the aim of fostering musical leisure activities.
In field experiments, we implemented different versions to assess the impact of various design features on behavioral outcomes...

Musical activities are an important aspect of cultural participation, however, quantitative-empirical studies of determinants of musical activities in primary school age are rare.
This interdisciplinary project focuses on determinants of musical activities in primary school students based on the theory of planned behavior.
The project addresses effects of (a) the intrinsic value of musical activities as an aspect of attitude (“joy of playing a musical instrument”), (b) the musical affinity of parents and friends as aspects of the subjective norm and (c) the musical self-concept as the subjective perception of the own musical competencies in terms of the perceived behavioral control....

To which extent do primary school children with and without a migratory background use reading and writing competencies as well as artistic-creative competencies that they have acquired in school in their leisure time? Which behavioral, normative, and control beliefs  predict the extent of leisure reading, writing and artistic-creative activities?
The aim of the proposed project is a longitudinal study of these questions. Effects of beliefs, gender and socio-economic status are studied on an individual level. Features of quality of instruction are added on class level.
The results of the project are meant to serve as a starting point for the development of measures to support reading, writing and artistic-creative design as leisure activity...

Today, a large number of children and adolescents show deficits in terms of motor-coordination competences. A possible reason is the lower extent of physical activities compared to former generations.
Although elementary school age is probably pivotal for establishing habits related to physical activities, this has rarely been studied previously.
Starting from the theory of planned behavior, suitable scales were developed and piloted.
These scales have been applied in a large-scale longitudinal study on determinants and effects of physical activities in primary school children...