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Dr. Rita L. Irwin

Distinguished University Scholar
Professor of Art Education and Curriculum Studies
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy
Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z4
1-604-822-5322 work
1-604-822-4714 fax


Short Resume

Education, Teaching, and Employment 


Post-Secondary Education

1986–1988   Doctor of Education (Art Education, Curriculum Studies), University of British Columbia
1984–1986   Master of Education, Curriculum Studies (Art and Music Ed. emphasis), University of Victoria
1978–1985   Diploma Program in Education (Curriculum Studies and the Arts), University of Lethbridge
1973–1977   Bachelor of Education, Art Education (major), Drama Education (minor), University of Lethbridge


Teaching Interests and Accomplishments

I believe I have expertise in art education, curriculum theory, qualitative research, and teacher education. Although my curriculum vitae places an emphasis on my teaching practices at UBC, I believe I am a teacher of teachers, and thus, many of my professional activities over my career have been conceptualized around notions of pedagogy and mentorship. I believe I have become known for a teaching style that is dialogic and community-oriented, participatory yet guided.

Employment Record at UBC 

2017–2026   Distinguished University Scholar

2005–2015   Associate Dean of Teacher Education (Renewed 2010–2015)

1999–2005   Head, Curriculum Studies
1999             Full Professor
1995             Associate Professor
1992             Assistant Professor (art education)


Before UBC

1988–1992   Assistant Professor, Art Education, School of Education, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario
1986–1988   Graduate Teaching Assistant, Visual & Performing Arts in Education, UBC
1984–1986  District-wide Visual Arts Consultant (half-time) and Art & Music Specialist (half-time) Gr. 5-6, Central Office Administration and Park Meadows School (University Observation School), LSD #51, Lethbridge, Alberta
1981–1984   Grades 3 to 6, art & music specialist, and language arts teacher, Park Meadows School, LSD #51 Lethbridge, Alberta (including half a year at Allan Watson School while Park Meadows was bing built)
1977–1981  Grades 3 to 6, art, music, & drama specialist, health and language arts teacher, Agnes Davidson School, LSD #51 Lethbridge, Alberta


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