Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht launches new Arts Education Research Group at Trinity College Dublin

Posted on: 25 June 2012

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, officially launched a newly established Arts Education Research Group, which is based in Trinity College Dublin’s School of Education on Monday June 18th last.

The creation of the Arts Education Research Group brings together collaborators who work in the areas of drama and theatre, music, dance, the visual arts, and poetry. This new group not only facilitates the potential for lively and enriching inter-disciplinary exchange across a number of disciplines within Trinity itself, but it also serves to provide an important focal point for research in the area of the Arts in Education in wider society, and to support valuable networking opportunities between diverse organisations and institutions involved in arts education.

The School of Education at Trinity College attracts teachers, artists, educators, policy-makers, researchers, and other advocates for arts and learning from around the world to their graduate taught and research programmes. The establishment of the Arts Education Research Group will enhance the school’s vision in the value of arts and learning as a fundamental component of human culture that deserves formal recognition in schools and wider society. It is also a way of transforming and renewing educational systems to achieve valuable personal, social and cultural objectives which will benefit children, young people and life-long learners of all ages.

Assistant Professor, Trinity School of Education, Carmel O’Sullivan; Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast; Assistant Professor, Trinity School of Education, Marita Kerin;  Minister Jimmy Dennihan; and Head of School of Education, Prof Michael Grenfell.

“I note that the establishment of this Arts Education Research Group follows on from similar impressive groups developed through the School of Education here at Trinity,” stated Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan.  “I have seen many examples where committed and imaginative teachers and artists have collaborated in allowing students access to the arts, be it in the areas of music, visual arts or performance, and I am totally convinced of their value in the holistic formation of our young people.  What we have to do is harness the enthusiasm, the dedication and this expertise into a well-organised, sustainable, workable and accessible model of best practice. I have been engaged in moving the agenda forward since I took on this role last year. The view would be to support the ideals imagined by interested parties in this debate, within our available resources. I am hopeful of tangible outcomes from these deliberations. No doubt the work of Arts Education Research Group will have a resonance with these deliberations.”

“Arts education is central to young people’s development and is invaluable in stimulating creative thinking. Indeed, arts education makes an important contribution to the wider goal of developing creativity in our society and economy,” stated Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast. “One of the most crucial roles of teachers is developing young minds through exploration, discovery and creativity. In times of recession, a focus on the arts in education is timely and rewarding. It is against such a backdrop that this initiative from the School of Education, to engage concretely with arts education in the formal and informal educational sectors, is both timely and welcome.”

The launch of the Arts Education Research Group took place the Trinity Long Room Hub and was attended by representatives from many arts and education organisations in Ireland, including the Arts Council, IMMA, the National Gallery of Ireland, the DES, the Teacher Unions, the NCCA, Poetry Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy, the Conservatoire of Music in DIT, and a number of prominent artists, teachers, scholars and academics from both within Trinity College and beyond who have an interest in the area of arts and education.