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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Tara Goldstein

Tara Goldstein

phone: (416) 978-0104

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

I am a critical ethnographer and arts-based researcher pursuing a teaching and research program in gender, sexuality and schooling and performed ethnography.

Findings from my current SSHRC-funded research project on the experiences of LGBTQ families at school (2014-2020) are available at

My new book Teaching Sexuality and Gender at School: Letters to Teachers is now available from Taylor and Francis and Amazon.

Over the past 20 years, I have been working with the arts-based research approach of "performed ethnography" which involves turning ethnographic research findings into dramatic scripts, which can be read aloud, performed and discussed by teachers, counsellors and principals as well as the general public. My performed ethnographies have been used in professional development workshops and education conferences in Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, and Toowoomba), Brazil (San Paulo), Colombia (Bogot), Singapore, Wales, and the United States as well as Canada.

My latest performed ethnography Out at School was co-written with LGBTQ Families Speak Out research team members Pam Baer and Jenny Salisbury and was performed at the Toronto Pride Festival in June 2019. See for details.


Over the past 25 years, I have been granted four Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants to conduct ethnographic research and create ethnographic play scripts on the schooling of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and sexual minority high school students and families.

2016-2020: The Experiences of LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools
2011-2014: Teaching Other People's Children: Performed Ethnographies for Teacher Education
2002-2005: Performed Ethnography for Anti-Homophobia Teacher Education
1996-1999: Language Choice for Academic and Social Success in the Multilingual Classroom

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

2006: MFA in Playwriting, Spalding University, Louisville, KY
1991: Ph.D OISE, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
1981: MA in Teaching English as a Second Language, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT,
1980: BA in English Literature and Women's Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, QC

Teaching Overview

I am currently teaching an undergraduate course in the Equity Studies program at New College called Equity, Activism, and Education.

I am also teaching two graduate courses in the Curriculum and Pedagogy program for the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE:

Sexualities, Gender and Schooling
Performed Ethnography and Research-Informed Theatre.

Video interview texts from my current SSHRC funded research project on the experiences of LGBTQ families in Ontario (2014-2020) are featured in all of the courses.

Representative Publications


Goldstein, T. (2019). Teaching Sexuality and Gender at School:  Letters to Teachers.  New York, NY:  Routledge.

Goldstein, T. (2013).Zero Tolerance and Other Plays: Disrupting racism, xenophobia and homophobia in school.  Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 233 pages.

Goldstein, T. (2012) Staging Harriet’s House: Writing and Producing Research-Informed Theatre. New York, NY: Peter Lang.   Includes the play Harriet’s House.

Goldstein, T.  (2003). Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual School:  Choices, Risks and  Dilemmas.  Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 221 pages. With contributions by Gordon Pon and Judith Ngan.   Includes the play Hong Kong, Canada.

Recent Book Chapters

Goldstein, T., *Salisbury, J., *hicks, b.l., *Reid, K., *Koecher, A., and *Baer, P. (2018). Inviting Startling Empathy Through Performed Ethnography: A Queer(ed) Collective Research Project.  In Gallagher, K. (Ed.) The Methodological Dilemma: Creative, Critical and Collaborative Approaches to Qualitative Research. New York:  Routledge 

Recent Papers in Refereed Journals

Goldstein, T. (2019).  The Bridge:  The Political Possibilities of Intergenerational Verbatim Theatre.  Qualitative Inquiry, p.1-7. ethnography/ research-informed theatre).

Goldstein. T., *Koecher, A., *Baer, P., and *hicks, b.l.  (2018). Transitioning in elementary school:  Advocacy and allyship. Teaching Education Journal 29(2):165-177    

Goldstein, T. (2017). Veracity in Alana Valentine’s Ladies Day: Implications for research-informed theatre.  Qualitative Inquiry, 23(6):438-444DOI (2016):  10.1177/1077800416673661.

Goldstein, T.  (2016).  Border crossing in the classroom through performed ethnography.  Perspectives on Urban Education, 13(1): 4-19.

*Gray, J., *Snell, P., and Goldstein, T. (2015). Working Beyond an “Aesthetic of Objectivity” in Research-Informed Theatre Design.  UNESCO Observatory: Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts. 

Goldstein, T. (2014).  Learning from Other People’s Families.  Teaching Education Journal, 25(1): 65-81.

Goldstein, T., *Gray, J., *Salisbury, J. and *Snell, P. (2014).  When Educational Research Meets Theatre: Performed Ethnography and Research-Informed Theatre Project Design. Qualitative  Inquiry, 20(5) 674–685.

Research Grants and Contracts

Recent funding

SSHRC Insight Grant
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount: $172,771
Title: The Experiences LGBTQ Families in Ontario Schools

The goal of this research study is to examine the experiences of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) families in public schools across Ontario and provide knowledge and strategies to counter discrimination and harassment LGBTQ families face in schools.

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Grant
Role: Partner Investigator
Amount: $313,000 (held at Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia)
Title:Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Schools: Parental Experiences

This grant will fund research on how Australian parents of gender and sexual diverse children navigate their children's experiences at school. My role as Partner Investigator will be to support the design of the project, the analysis of the research findings and the development of research-informed theatre script based on the research findings.

Honours and Awards

Won the David E. Hunt Award of Excellence for Graduate Education

Nominated by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation for the University of Toronto for the SSHRC Impact Insight Award for my scholarship in performed ethnography and teacher education.

Won the Carol Crealock Award for my feminist scholarship and academic mentorship from the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE).

Won the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Queer SIG Activist Scholarship Award for my research and teaching on sexuality and gender education in public schools.

Professional Activities


University of Toronto
Member, Academic Board

Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Member, Admissions Committee

Academic Journal Editorial Board Membership
Teaching Education Journal, University of Sydney and Deakin University, Australia
Educational Insights, University of British Columbia, Canada

Playwrights Guild of Canada
General member and member of the Women's Caucus

Other Information

Gailey Road Productions: Where Research Meets Theatre and Theatre Meets Research

In addition to my academic position at the University of Toronto I am also the Artist Director of Gailey Road Productions. Founded in January 2007 Gailey Road creates research-informed theatre on social and political issues that impact on us all. Our plays have been read, performed and discussed with audiences in middle schools, high schools, universities, academic and education conferences. We have also staged our work the Toronto Fringe Festival (2007, 2008), the Toronto Queer West Festival (2010), the Toronto Pride Festival (2010), La Festival Rosa in Bogot, Colombia (2014), the Toronto SummerWorks Festival (2015), the L Fest in Llandudno, Wales (2018). . In the last eight years, our research-informed theatre work has focused on issues that impact on LGBTQ children, youth and families. Our latest play Out at School was performed at Toronto Pride 2019. See for details.