Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Arts Education

Overview

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., officially launched the Arts Education Research Group on June 19th 2012. The launch was attended by representatives from arts and education organisations in Ireland, bringing together prominent artists, teachers, students, scholars and academics from both within Trinity College and beyond who have an interest in the area of arts and education. The group has 10 members (2 full time lecturing staff), 4 adjunct members, and 4 PhD students, with an additional 3 students currently undergoing PhD thesis examination, and 3 successfully completed. AERG is an inter-disciplinary group and has strong links with arts education organisations nationally and internationally. This collaboration not only facilitates the potential for lively and enriching inter-disciplinary exchange across a number of disciplines, but also serves to provide an important focal point for research in the area of the Arts in Education in wider society. Although in its early years of operation, AERG has been successful in developing valuable networking opportunities between organisations and institutions involved in arts education, and who are also interested in engaging in researching their own practices. For example, students on the associated M.Ed. (Drama in Education) and B.Mus. Ed. programmes, and doctoral students have engaged in collaborative practice and research with the National Gallery of Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, the National Association of Youth Drama, CREATE (the national government agency for community arts), Aspire (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland), the Arts Council, Education Centres, Fingal County Council’s early childhood and arts offices, a regional Travellers’ Association, and over 30 kindergarten, primary and secondary schools to date. Distance learning students associated with AERG are similarly involved in research projects in over 10 countries at the moment.

The establishment of the Arts Education Research Group is enhancing our ability to prioritise its vision in a belief in the value of arts and learning as an intrinsic component of human culture that deserves formal recognition in schools and wider society, and as a way of transforming and renewing educational systems to achieve valuable personal, social and cultural objectives which will benefit all children, young people and life long learners of all ages.

Research Focus

The Arts Education Research Group has a developing programme of activities across the arts generally, with several areas of specialism. It is concerned with research into the policy and practice of arts and aesthetic education. Its current areas of expertise include Drama and Theatre in Education, Music, Museum Studies, Artistic Biography, and the Visual Arts. It is particularly interested in teaching and learning issues with respect to inclusion and special educational needs. It is also currently building networks to bridge the arts and sciences, and exploring the ways in which the two can inter-relate in policy and practice.

The Group is engaged in the following four major strands of research activity currently:

  1. Inclusion and the Arts
  2. An artists’ biography series
  3. Performance Pedagogy
  4. A co-mentoring scheme between artists and teachers in early years settings

This work has generated a number of peer-reviewed publications (6, with an additional 3 in press), conference proceedings (2) and conference presentations (15).

AERG includes public performance and academic events in the range of its activities, and hosts an annual series of student concerts on campus. 11 research seminars have been organised since 2012, with 2 highly successful international conferences taking place in 2013 (one on the role of 27 fairytale in contemporary theatre, featuring Mike Kenny and Erika Eichenseer, and one on drama and autism spectrum disorder which attracted over 330 delegates). Members of AERG are regularly invited to give presentations, workshops, keynote addresses and CPD training to teachers and arts educators and practitioners in many parts of the world.

Professor Lucy Green  

Directors

Ms Marita Kerin

Ms Marita Kerin

Dr Carmel O'Sullivan

Current Members

Research Students

Current PhD students

Peadar Donohoe - Drama as an approach to anti-bullying education

Jacqueline Fallon – Play in the Early Years

Kate McCarthy – Applied Theatre

Martha O’Shaughnessy  - Shakespeare in the Primary School

Gaye Tanham – Dance Education

Ms Catalina Villanueva – Drama in Education as a form of Critical Pedagogy

Mr Cao Xi – Drama in Education

Recently graduated

Marian Forde (PhD) – Poetry in the Curriculum

Louise Heeran Flynn – Language, Drama and Educational Disadvantage

Kate Harris – Assessment of Community Arts

Celine Healy (PhD) – Second Language Learning through Drama

Niamh Malone (PhD) – The Arts and Urban Regeneration

Masters students
More than 50 masters students have explored research topics on aesthetics, learning in and through the arts, creativity, music education, arts in prison, arts across the curriculum, drama and theatre in education, the visual arts, and the arts in museum education.

Drama Summer School Students 2014

Over 100 students have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in the area of arts education and Drama in Education in the last 10 years.


News & Events

On April 25th 2015, staff and students from the Schools of Education and Physics at Trinity College Dublin ran exciting workshops for young people at the National Concert Hall exploring the links between the worlds of quavers and quadratics. Representing the Arts in Education Research Group (AERG), Bachelor in Music Education course co-ordinator Marita Kerin (Education) with Dr. Shane Bergin (Physics) and Dr. Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain (from UCD's School of Mathematical Sciences) to bring the links between music, maths and science alive for the children attending. Undergraduate students from music education and physics smashed wine glasses with sound, questioned why musical instruments have their special shapes and pared the science of music right back to the anatomy of a simple sound wave.

The team of academics and students will develop these fascinating connections when they return to the National Concert Hall in the autumn.

 


'Performance and Identity in Irish Stand-Up Comedy' - A new publication written by Dr Susanne Colleary (TCD) and launched by Dr Eamonn Jordan with a special guest appearance by Dr Gunther Gruhn - 4th February 2015.


The Arts in Education Research Group hosted the first in a series of Arts Biography research seminars at the Printing House, Trinity College Dublin on Thursday 29th November, an Evening with Ralph McTell.

Music education lecturer Marita Kerin explored the concepts of informal learning and the biography of place (habitus and field) with singer songwriter Ralph McTell in advance of a more focused exploration the following morning of the notion of artistic biography and how it impacts on artistic output which was convened by the Chair and Head of the School of Education, Professor Michael Grenfell.

Guest - Ralph McTell.
Interviewer - Marita Kerin, School of Education

Audio on Ralph Mc Tell: Artist Biography Project by Trinity College Dublin

 

Dr Carmel O’Sullivan, director of The Arts in Education Research Group hosted the first in a series of Arts Biography research seminars at the Printing House, Trinity College Dublin on Thursday 29th November. Music education lecturer Marita Kerin explored the concepts of informal learning and the biography of place (habitus and field) with singer songwriter Ralph McTell in advance of a more focused exploration the following morning of the notion of artistic biography and how it impacts on artistic output which was convened by the Chair and Head of the School of Education, Professor Michael Grenfell. 


Research Projects

Dates

Project Title

Summary

Funding Agency/
Collaborating partners

2012-2013

Exploring Minds: An early years arts pilot project Fingal County Council Arts Office, Fingal Traveller Organisation, community artists and the School of Education Arts Education Research Group, aim to pilot a unique Early Years Arts programme for Traveller children and their parents living in halting sites in Skerries and Swords. The programme will introduce young children and their parents to a quality arts experience, primarily through the media of Music and Visual Arts. Strand One will be developed as an 'Artist Residency Model for Arts Development and Parental Involvement’, and will involve the use of the DIEAC Framework in all aspects of its design, implementation and evaluation.

Fingal County Council Arts Office

The Arts Council

School of Education Arts Education Research Group

2011-2014

Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Arts in Context

In response to the diversity and significance of collaborative arts practices in a range of social and community contexts, TCD and Create in partnership with the Arts Council, propose to research and develop the DIEAC framework. This framework is proposed on the basis of providing an adaptive and flexible tool for designing, implementing and evaluating arts in context (DIEAC).

School of Education
(TCD)
Arts Council (Arts in the Community Scheme)
CREATE
Trinity Long Room Hub

2009-2012

Drama in Education in the holistic education of young people with Asperger Syndrome (Phase II)

Social skills education through drama for children and young people on the autistic spectrum.

ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland)

National Lottery funding

2009-2012

Integrated Executive Function (IEF) Training

This study is investigating the effects of a novel form of brain training on children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is a collaborative study between researchers in Trinity College, DCU and ASPIRE, and is the first of its kind to take place in Ireland.

ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland)

2009-2010

'Corduroy’ - a short film based on a young adult with high functioning autism

Consultant to a short film based on the life of a young adult with high functioning autism (written and directed by Hugh O'Connor). ‘Corduroy’ was selected for competition at the 60th Berlin Film Festival (2010) and at the Dublin Film Festival (2010).

Irish Film Board

2007-2009

Asperger Syndrome: A Practical Guide for Parents, Young People, Teachers and Other Professionals

This project was set up to research and create an educational DVD which has been distributed to every school in Ireland, and also to parents, professionals and other carers of young people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) nationally and internationally. Special features include video footage of the Drama in Education social skills education programme.

Department of Education and Science
ASPIRE
School of Education (TCD)
AVMS (TCD)

2006

Good Buzz - Bad Buzz

This theatre in education performance piece was researched and devised to launch the Task Force Report on Joyriding and raise awareness of the potential role of drama and theatre in education as a creative and educational tool to stimulate debate and discussion about issues of youth joyriding nationally.

Blue Drum: The Government Arts Specialist Support Agency

2004-2008

Drama and linguistic disadvantage

A funded research project to explore the role of drama in education in language development and social disadvantage.

National Children’s Strategy (Office for the Minister of Children)

2004-2009

Drama in Education in the holistic education of young people with Asperger Syndrome (Phase 1)

This project aims to investigate whether the sustained use of an integrated creative arts approach with specific focus on the use of drama in education will lead to a more successful social, personal, emotional and cognitive education of young people with AS. It aims to bring about a greater understanding of what it means to live with AS and the implications on one’s life.

Dormant Funds Account
Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland
The Ireland Fund
Dublin Bus

 

Back to top


Last updated 6 May 2015 kellyva@tcd.ie.