Dr Paul Tarc

Associate Professor


My main research interests in progressive and critical modes of education are articulated through 'post'-informed theories of representation, ethics, subjectivity and pedagogy. I have taught for nine years in K-12 schools in South America, South-East Asia and Ontario.

My first book, Global dreams, enduring tensions: International Baccalaureate (IB) in a changing world, uses the IB as the focal point to historicize the 'international' of international education under globalization. My recently published book, International education in global times: Engaging the pedagogic, focuses on the complex processes of learning and subject formation in and from one’s international experience.

My particular objects of inquiry include: globalization and education, international education (including international school teachers and the International Baccalaureate), theories of knowing, politics of schooling, progressive pedagogies, critical literacies, teacher education, reflective practice, teachers' work and learning, and interpretive research methods in Education.

Expertise Areas



Canadian Teachers Out in the World: Adapting Teacher Education for Transnational Times

Under heightened globalization, there are increasing numbers of Canadian teachers working in schools with a trans-national character both inside and outside of Canada. In this sense, the world is both 'out' beyond Canada's political borders but also inside the country in international, first nation and diverse urban schools supporting, for example, children of immigrants and refugees. Many of these transnational contexts are the very places where beginning teachers are likely to find teaching positions. Teacher Education has begun to respond to the global context of teaching opportunities and to the shifting character of social difference requiring adaptations to multicultural educational frameworks. This study examines how teacher education is internationalizing to better prepare beginning teachers for the increasing transnational character of schooling in a global era.


Ethical Internationalism in Higher Education (EIHE) – International Research Study

Principal Investigator, Professor Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti, University of Oulu, Finland

  • EIHE is an inter-disciplinary international mixed-methods research project, which has received funding from the Academy of Finland from 2012 to 2015. It examinesinternationalization processes in higher education and how these processes construct notions of epistemic difference, transnational literacy and global citizenship. Official policies and initiatives, as well as the perceptions of faculty, students, and managers engaged with internationalization processes will be reviewed and compared. The data includes both policy documents and qualitative and quantitative data collected through surveys, interviews and ethnographies in 20 university sites. Research partners in these institutions have agreed to address the same questions using the same methods of data collection to create a common dataset that can be used in comparison. Shared questions at the heart of the study include: How is the role of the university, faculty and graduates perceived in terms of social accountability ideals? How is epistemic difference perceived in internationalization policies and initiatives at participating universities? What kinds of educational policies and processes have the potential to resist and disrupt dominant patterns of knowledge production that restrict possibilities for ethical relationalities and solidarities in local and global academic spaces?

Searching for critical thinking: Examining the qualities of thinking in a ‘Theory of Knowledge’ class

  • In present times, there is a growing consensus around the necessity and/or desirability of ‘critical thinking’ as a learning outcome of schooling. However, there are diverse understandings, traditions and contexts of and for critical thinking. Moreover, there remains very little research on the qualities of critical thinking as manifest in the context of school classrooms. This study will typologize the varied understandings of critical thinking in theoretical discourses and test out whether or in what ways these different approaches to critical thinking are expressed in a unique course, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme’s ‘Theory of Knowledge Course’ that espouses developing critical thinking as a primary pedagogical aim.

In The News

Recent Publications


Tarc, P. (2013). International education in global times: Engaging the pedagogic. New York: Peter Lang.

Tarc, P. (2009). Global dreams, enduring tensions: International Baccalaureate in a changing world. New York: Peter Lang.

Papers in refereed journals:

Tarc, P. & Mishra Tarc, A. (2015). Elite international schools in the global South: Transnational space, class relationalities and the ‘middling’ international school teacher. British Journal of the Sociology of Education 36(1), 34-52.

Tarc, P. (2013). What larger conditions and logics are in play in mobilizations of “education as a human right?” Democracy and Education, article 9.

Tarc, P. & Beatty, L. (2012). The emergence of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Ontario: Diffusion, pilot study and prospective research. Canadian Journal of Education, 35(4), 241-275.

Tarc, P., Mishra Tarc, A., Ng-A-Fook, N., & Triolokekar, R.D. (2012). Re-conceiving international education: Theorizing limits and possibilities for transcultural learning. Canadian and International Education Journal 40(3), article 6.

Tarc, P. (2012). The uses of ‘globalization’ in the (shifting) landscape of Educational Studies. Canadian Journal of Education, 35(3), 4-29.

Mishra Tarc, A. & Tarc, P. (2010). What hybridity stammers to say: Becoming other than ‘oneself’ in Hanif Kureishi's 'My Son the Fanatic.' Letras y Letras, 26(2), 307-324.

Andreotti, V., Jefferess, D., Pashby, K., Rowe, C., Tarc, P. & Taylor, L. (2010). Difference and conflict in global citizenship in Higher Education in Canada. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 2(3), 5-24.

Tarc, P. (2009). What is the 'International' in the International Baccalaureate? Three structuring tensions in the early years (1962-1973). Journal of Research in International Education, 8(3), 235-261.

Tarc, P. (2007) Informal learning in “performative” times: Insights from empirical research on Canadian teachers' work and learning. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 20(2), 71-86.

Tarc, P. (2007). Teaching for dispositions? Old debates, new orthodoxies: Hanging onto a 'knowledge' approach. Journal of Educational Controversy, 2(2).

Chapters in Books:

Tarc, P. (2015). What is the ‘active’ in 21st century calls to develop ‘active global citizens’? Justice-oriented desires, active learning, neoliberal times. In J. Harshman, T. Augustine & M. Merryfield (Eds.), Research in global citizenship education (pp. 35-58). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Tarc, P. (2012). Full-time teachers’ learning: Engagements and challenges. In R. Clark, D. Livingstone & H. Smaller (Eds.), Teachers’ learning and power in the ‘knowledge society’ (pp. 87-108). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Tarc, P. (2011). How does 'global citizenship education' construct its present? The crisis of international education. In V. Andreotti & L. M. de Souza (Eds.), Postcolonial perspectives on global citizenship education(pp.105-123). London: Routledge.

Tarc, P. (2011). Bridging (representations of) the 'global present' with the life-world of the classroom: Researching toward 'learning to teach' global citizenship education. In L. Shultz, A. Abdi, & G. Richardson (Eds.), Global citizenship education in post-secondary institutions: Theories, practices, policies (pp. 64-75). New York: Peter Lang.

Tarc, P. & Antonelli, F. (2010). Teachers' learning and work relations: (Shifting) engagements and challenges. In D. Livingstone (Ed.), Lifelong learning in paid and unpaid work (pp. 155-172). New York: Routledge.

Tarc, P. & Smaller, H. (2009). Research on Canadian teachers' work and learning. In S. Walters & L. Cooper (Eds.), Turning work and lifelong learning inside out (pp. 123-141). Capetown: Human Sciences Research Council.

Teaching and Supervision

Coordinator of International Education specialization in Master of Professional Education

Doctoral supervision completed:

  • 2017, Clara Isabel Tascon De Arcila, Knowledge Production in International Research Collaboration: A Comparative Study of Canadian and Colombian Research Networks [with Marianne Larsen]

  • 2017, Desire Yamutaule, The Doubleness of International Double Degree Programs at Ontario Universities: Challenges and Prospects for Global Citizenship Education

  • 2012, Elida Sanchez Cruz, Women in Science and Engineering: The Impact of Gender Equity Policy in Mexican Higher Education

Doctoral supervision in progress:

  • Farrukh Chishtie, The ‘Meaning’ and ‘Enactment’ of Natural Sciences: Depictions in Two Case Studies [co-supervising with Allan Pitman]

  • Eva Jaberi, Cosmopolitan Dispositions of Youth in a Transnational Age [with Marianne Larsen]

  • Abbey Duggal, Equity Policies in Education [with Pam Bishop]

  • Xi Wu, Examining Chinese International Secondary School Students in Transnational Spaces: Becoming Flexible Citizens?

  • Monther Almeqdadi, Emerging Literacies of Syrian Refugee Families [co-supervising with Julie Byrd Clark]

  • James Budrow, Becoming and Performing as the Internationally-minded Teacher

  • Qinghua Zhao, Four Routes of Flexible Citizenship: Chinese Families Choosing Western Education [co-supervising with Melody Viczko]

  • Vanessa Sperduti, Voluntourism and Essential Perspectives from One Host Community: A Case Study [co-supervising with Marianne Larsen]

  • Georges Wakim, Refugee Education in Lebanon: Case Study of Syrian Refugee Emergency Education [co-supervising with Brenton Faubert]

  • Aisha Al-Haque, Educational Programmers Doing Diversity : Toward a Critical Praxis

Preservice courses taught:

  • International Education: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Social Foundations of Education
  • Engaging New Media

Graduate courses taught:

  • International Education in Global Times (MPED)
  • Fieldwork / Research Project (International Education MPED)
  • Comparative and International Education
  • Internationalizing Education: Agendas, Contexts, Pedagogies
  • Doctoral Seminar
  • Globalization and Educational Restructuring
  • Analysis of Teaching