A SENIOR drama lecturer in Mary Immaculate College has been nominated to the group formulating national policy on integrating the arts into education.
Dr Michael Finneran has been nominated by education minister Jan O’Sullivan to the high level implementation group for the Arts in Education Charter - launched in 2013 to examine ways of providing and promoting arts education to children and young people.
Dr Finneran, an active theatre practitioner who joined the drama team in MIC in 1998 and who has developed a new programme for MIC, a BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies that begins this September, said he was “honoured and delighted” to have been nominated by Minister O’Sullivan to the group.
“This important policy is vital to the future health and growth of rich and mutually beneficial work across the arts and education sectors,” he said.
“I think that my appointment is recognition of the strides made in teaching, researching and hosting the arts at Mary Immaculate College over the last decade, and the centrality of the arts to the vibrant life of our campus,” added Dr Finneran, a board member of the Lime Tree, which he helped to establish.
The group, chaired by John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus at NUI Maynooth, meets regularly and reports twice yearly to the ministers in addition to holding consultation meetings with a wider group of other key stakeholders.
The Charter firmly states its commitment to placing the arts, alongside other subjects, at the core of the education system and as a result placed new responsibilities on Government Departments, agencies, cultural institutions and arts organisations to promote arts education to children and young people.
Minister O’Sullivan said she was sure that Finneran’s experience as founding head of the Department of Arts Education and Physical Education in MIC “along with your extensive background in drama will be an invaluable asset to your work as you oversee the implementation of the Charter”.