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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning

Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez
Associate Professor
Program Coordinator, Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development Program

phone: (416) 978-0194
email: rgaztambide@oise.utoronto.ca  
website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slps0ya7ARk

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Comparative, International and Development Education

Research Overview

My current research focuses on the experiences of young artists attending specialized arts high schools in cities across Canada and the United States. I am also the Principal Investigator of Proyecto Latin@, a participatory action research project with Latin@ youth in the Toronto District School Board. My theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity and solidarity. I am particularly interested in the creative possibilities that arise from the social and cultural dynamics of urban centers. The movements and encounters that define urban spaces generate particular cultural dynamics with the potential to reshape human relations.

Curriculum Vitae


Academic History

Ed.D., Learning and Teaching, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2006
M.Ed., Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2000
B.M., Performance, The Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA, USA, 1993

Teaching Overview

Over the last five years, I have taught graduate courses in the Arts in Education, Foundational as well as Contemporary Curriculum Thought, and I also currently lead the Proseminar for Doctoral students in CTL. Most recently, I have been develop a graduate seminar titled Pedagogies of Solidarity. For Initial Teacher Education, I teach a course on arts integration titled Arts in Urban Schools, which I will teach again in Winter 2013.

Representative Publications


Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2009). The Best of the Best: Becoming Elite at American Boarding School. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press


GaztambideFernández, R., *VanderDussen, E, & *Cairns, K. (2012). “The mall” and “the plant:” Choice and the classed construction of possible futures in two specialized arts programs. Education and Urban Society. (34 pp.)

Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2011). Bullshit as resistance: Justifying unearned privilege among students at an elite boarding school. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 24(5), 581-586.

Gaztambide-Fernández, R. (2011). Musicking in the city: Reconceptualizing urban music education as cultural practice. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, 10(1), 14-45.

Research Grants and Contracts

The Urban Arts High Schools Project has been supported by two grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a Research Development Grant (2008-2010, 39,000) and a Standard Research Grant (2010-2013, 109,000). It was initiated through a New Staff Matching Grant from the Connaught Program at the University of Toronto (2007-2010, 40,000).

My previous research on elite boarding schools was supported by a dissertation improvement grant from the National Science Foundation (2005-2006, 7,490).

Honours and Awards

In 2011, I received the "Early Career Scholar" Award from the Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies SIG of the American Educational Research Association. In 2007, I was nominated for a Teaching Excellence Award at OISE. In 2005, I received an Achievement in Instructional Technology Award, from the Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows Program at Harvard University, and in 2004, I received an Outstanding Faculty/Staff Member Recognition Award from African, Latino, Asian, and Native American Advisory Council (ALANA) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

My doctoral training was supported through the Research Training Grant of the Spencer Foundation.

Professional Activities

Currently, I am Director of the Centre for Media and Culture in Education at OISE. I am also an editor for Curriculum Inquiry, and I am on the editorial boards of several journals, including Qualitative Sociology and Sociology of Education. I am a former chair of the Curriculum & Pedagogy Group, and I have served on the Program Committee for Division B (Curriculum Studies) at AERA for two years. As a doctoral student, I was a member of the student run editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review.