Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Tara Goldstein

Tara Goldstein

phone: (416) 978-0104
email: tara.goldstein@utoronto.ca  
website: http://lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca
website: http://taragoldstein.com
website: http://gaileyroad.com

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

I am a critical ethnographer and playwright pursuing a teaching and research program in performed ethnography for critical teacher education. I am also the Founding and Artistic Director of Gailey Road Productions, a Toronto-based independent theatre company that produces my performed ethnographies and research-informed theatre plays.

Findings from my latest SSHRC-funded research project on the experiences of LGBTQ families at school (2014-2020) are available at www.lgbtqfammiliesspeakout.ca.

My new book Teaching Gender and Sexuality at School is now available from Routledge.
https://www.routledge.com/Teaching-Gender-and-Sexuality-at-School-Letters-to Teachers/Goldstein/p/book/9781138387140


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. I have completed eleven research-informed theatre scripts, which have been read aloud, discussed and performed across Canada, the United States, Australia, England and in Bogot, Colombia.

Academic Writing About Performed Ethnography and Research-Informed Theatre

I have written about the pedagogical possibilities of some these plays for Teaching Education Journal, Youth Theatre Journal and The International Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. I have also written about working through methodological issues in performed ethnography and research-informed theatre for Qualitative Inquiry.

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 three graduate courses in the Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development program for the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE: Sexualities, Gender and Schooling, Performed Ethnography and Research-Informed Theatre, and Life Writing Research.

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., *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: LGBTQ Families' Experiences 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

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
Member, Jackman Institute of Humanities Advisory Committee

Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Member, Admissions Committee
Member, PTR 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

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 will be performed at Toronto Pride 2019. See www.gaileyroad.com for details.