University of Calgary

Patricia Rae Tarr

  • Associate Professor Emerita of Education

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Dr. Pat Tarr completed her teacher education and graduate work at UBC specializing in early childhood education and art education. In B.C. she worked with young children in a variety of settings, including art galleries, She came to the University of Calgary in 1989 as a sessional instructor in the Department of Art teaching art methods for early childhood and elementary education students. She moved into the Faculty of Education in 1994 to teach courses in early childhood education. Since then she has taught courses across the B.Ed. Undergraduate Program and graduate courses in early childhood and Teaching through the Arts.

Research & Scholarly Activity

Dr. Tarr’s research interests focus on the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education in Canadian and international contexts. She is interested pedagogical documentation for elementary and secondary teachers as formative assessment and teacher professional development, classroom environments, and implications of the Reggio philosophy for art education.

Current Projects:

  • Pedagogical Documentation in High School Science Classes


PhD Curriculum and Instruction
University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

Elementary Teacher Education
University of British Columbia

University of California, Berkeley

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Tarr has been active in supporting professional development opportunities for educators interested in the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education through the Calgary Reggio Network Association. She was project chair for bringing the Hundred Languages of Children exhibit from Reggio Emilia to Calgary in 1997 and in 2006. She helped to establish the Early Childhood Art Educators special issues group of the National Art Education Association with a mandate to promote quality art education for young children. She is a past editor of Early Childhood Education a peer-reviewed journal published by the ECE Council of the Alberta Teachers’ Association and has served as PD Chair on the ECE Council. She is a Board member of North American Reggio Emilia Alliance. Additionally, she is connected internationally with Reggio inspired educators across Canada, Italy, the U.S., Sweden, and South America. She is a member of the Canadian Association for Young Children, and OMEP (World Organization for Early Childhood Education). She serves on the University Campus Child Care Centre Board.


Tarr, P. (2011/fall). Reflections and shadows: Ethical issues in pedagogical documentation. Canadian Children 36(2), 11-16.

Tarr, P. (2010/fall). Curiosity, curriculum, and collaboration entwined reflections on pedagogical documentation. Canadian Children 35(2), 10-14

Tarr, P. (2010). Tangled threads: Mentoring within a community of practice. McGill Journal of Education, 45(2).

Pl Tarr, P., Bjartveit, C., Kostiuk, L. & McCowan, D. (2009 spring/summer). Supporting imagination in play through pedagogical documentation: Haunted Houses; fairies and goblins; pirates and islands. Canadian Children, 34(1), 21-28.

Tarr, P. (2008). New visions: Art for early childhood. Art Education, 61(4) 19-24.

Media Work

  • Interviewed by ABC Color, Asuncion, Paraguay, August 16, 2012
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