Learning about culture - RSA

Learning about culture


  • Arts and culture
  • Education and learning

Learning About Culture is the RSA’s largest ever programme of action research in education.

9000 pupils in 400 schools across England will take part in five randomised control trials to find out if different cultural learning approaches can help boost primary pupils’ achievement, confidence and creativity. Wider research will investigate how arts-rich schools get the most out of arts and cultural activity.

The programme has two overarching aims:

  • To build a stronger evidence base for cultural learning, and;
  • To improve the use of evidence in cultural learning.

The real value of evidence is in how it is used to inform and improve practice so that children benefit more. We want to help build capacity in the sector in how to collect and understand evidence in order improve impact not just to prove it.

The RSA’s research with schools will go beyond an interest in attainment, to investigate the other benefits that cultural learning brings, how schools ensure quality and how they collect evidence of impact.

Download Learning about Culture (PDF, 700KB)



The programme is supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE), the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Bridge organisations’ network, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Foyle Foundation.  

pdf 640.4 KB


Picture of Mark Londesborough
Head of Programme, Education

Picture of Laura Partridge
Former Associate Director, Creative Learning and Education

Picture of Naomi Bath
Assistant Researcher, Creative Learning and Development

Picture of Sam Grinsted
Coordinator, Creative Learning and Development