Dr. Rita L. Irwin is an artist, researcher, and teacher deeply committed to the arts and education. She is a Professor of Art Education in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Rita served as Associate Dean of Teacher Education at UBC from 2005-2015 and Head of the Department of Curriculum Studies from 1999-2005. Rita has been an educational leader for a number of provincial, national and international organizations including being President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies, Canadian Society for Education through Art, and the International Society for Education through Art.
Her research interests have spanned in-service art education, teacher education, socio-cultural issues, curriculum practices across K-12 and informal learningsettings, and a/r/tography. Rita publishes widely, exhibits her artworks, and has secured a range of research grants, including a number of Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants to support her work in Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and beyond. Well known co-edited books include Revisions: Readings in Canadian Art Teacher Education (co-edited with Kit Grauer and Mike Emme) and Being with A/r/tography (co-edited with Stephanie Springgay, Carl Leggo, and Peter Gouzouasis).
In recognition of her many accomplishments and commitments, she has received a number of awards for her scholarship, service and teaching including the distinction of Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association in the USA, the Ted T. Aoki Award for Distinguished Service in Canadian Curriculum Studies (CACS), the Canadian Art Teacher of the Year Award (CSEA), the Elliot Eisner Lifetime Achievement Award (NAEA) and the Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring (UBC).