Dr. Tara-Lynn Scheffel

Dr. Tara-Lynn Scheffel
Associate Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies - Schulich School of Education
Full-time Faculty
Graduate Program Faculty
Dr. Tara-Lynn Scheffel teaches courses in Language & Literacies, Educating Young Children and Narrative Inquiry. Dr. Scheffel is the current Elizabeth Thorn Chair in Literacy and is advisor to NU Reads, a community-based literacy initiative led by teacher candidates. Previously, Dr. Scheffel was the lead partner for the Schulich School of Eduction helping to support the work of Ontario's Provincial Centre of Excellence for Early Years and Child Care, also taking the role of Network Facilitator in the final year of the project. Dr. Scheffel is also a past president of the Language and Literacy Researchers of Canada (LLRC).
BA, Brock University
BEd, Redeemer University
MEd, University of Western Ontario
PhD, University of Western Ontario
Areas of Specialization:

​Literacy Teacher Education; Literacy Engagement; Community-Based Literacy Initiatives; Early Childhood Learning; Children’s Literature

Research Interests:

My research explores student/literacy engagement, community-based literacy initiatives, early childhood education, and literacy teacher education. As a qualitative researcher, I draw on narrative inquiry and case study primarily, to share practitioner and learner stories within educational research. A recent project brought a group of local educators (K-3) to campus for a full-day professional learning workshop to discuss literacy engagement. My research with teacher candidates aims to strengthen theory-practice connections from their coursework in Language & Literacies and has also provided opportunities to engage in the research process as co-researchers. I continually strive to build professional knowledge and practice through my research, including opportunities to partner with fellow researchers and community members.

Current & Future Research:

Exploring Literacy Teaching and Learning Opportunities within a Summer Literacy Camp; Expanding Conceptualizations of Literacy Engagement: Student and Teacher Perceptions; Intergenerational Learning Opportunities


Scheffel, T. (Forthcoming 2021). A curriculum journey inspired by picturebooks. In C. Shields, A.G. Podolski, & J.J. Guiney Yallop’s Influences and Inspirations in Curriculum Studies and Teaching: Reflections on the Origins and Legacy of Canadian Scholarship. Routledge.

Scheffel, T. & Hives, L., (2021). Shifting mindsets about educating young children. The Learning Professional, 42(2), 26-29.

Hives, L., Scheffel, T., Scott, J., (2020). Developing a relationship with the environment – for the health of it. Green Teacher, 125, 16-21.

Scheffel, T., & McKee, L. (2019). Uniting generations: Intergenerational and universal-themed picturebook recommendations. Journal of Childhood Studies, 44(5), 120-128.  https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs00019339

McKee, L. & Scheffel, T. (2019). Learning together: Our reflections on connecting people and practices in intergenerational meaning-making experiences. Journal of Childhood Studies, 44(5), 111-119. https://doi.org/10.18357/jcs00019338

Hives, L., & Scheffel, T. (August 14th, 2019). A day at the beach: deep learning for a child. The Conversation

Scheffel, T. & Rich, S. (2019). Primary Education: Overview. Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. DOI: 10.5040/9781474209434.0023

Scheffel, T., Hives, L., Steele, A., & Scott, J. (Jan. 31st, 2019). Learning in the snow: how children develop through all-weather outdoor play. The Conversation.

Scheffel, T., Cameron, C., Dolmage, L., Johnston, M., Lapensee, J., Solymar, K., Usher-Speedie, E., & Wills, M. (2018). The Journey of a Collaborative Children’s Literature Book Club for Teacher Candidates. Reading Horizons, 57(1), 1-14.

Scheffel, T. (2018). Excerpt: A Community Reads a Novel. In Booth, D. & Coles, R., What is a “good” teacher? (pp. 125-126). Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers.

Scheffel, T. (2017). Tell Me With Pictures: Grade Eight Students’ Digital Representations of Engagement in Learning. McGill Journal of Education. 52(3), 719-746.

Scheffel, T. (2016). Individual Paths to Literacy Engagement: Three Portraits Revisited. Brock Journal, 25(2), 53-70.

Scheffel, T. (2016). Becoming Literacy Leaders: Teacher Candidates Initiate a Community-Based Literacy Program. Language and Literacy, 18(1), 130-147.

Scheffel, T. (2015). The Heart of the Matter: Exploring Intergenerational Themes in Children’s Literature. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 13(2). 167-181.

Scheffel, T. (2013). Strategy: Collaborative Reading of a Shared Book: Promoting Family Literacy in the Community. In Booth, D., I've Got Something to Say: How student voices inform our teaching (pp. 116-119). Markham, ON: Pembroke Publishers.

Scheffel, T. (2009, 2013, 2017). Teacher Wisdom: Tara-Lynn Scheffel and Phonics. In Bainbridge, J., Heydon, R., and Malicky, G., Constructing Meaning: Balancing Elementary Language Arts. (5th. Ed.) (p. 298). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.

Scheffel, T. (2013). Portraits of Home: Working in Community Day Care Homes in New Brunswick. LEARNing Landscapes, 7(1), 283-299.

Scheffel, T. & Booth, D. (2013). Towards Literary Growth and Community Participation: Lessons Learned from a Shared Book Experience in One Northern Ontario Community. Literacy Learning: The Middle Years, 21(2).

Scheffel, T. (2012). Individual Paths to Literacy Engagement: Three Portraits. Brock Journal, 21(2), pp. 3-21.

Scheffel, T. (2011). Who am I? Who are you? Negotiating a researcher identity. Language and Literacy, 13(2), 54-65.

Hibbert, K., Scheffel, T., Rich, S. & Heydon, R. M. (2011). Orchestrating expertise in reading and writing. Education 3-13, 1-13.

Scheffel, T. (2010). Community Day Care Homes. A Professional Curriculum Pamphlet for the New Brunswick Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care (English).

Scheffel, T. (2009). Valuing Children’s Roles in Research on Literacy Engagement. In L. Iannacci and P. Whitty (Eds.), Early Childhood Curricula: Reconceputalist Perspectives (pp.143-166). Detselig Press.​

Ashton, E., Stewart, K., Hunt, A., Nason, P., Scheffel, T. (2009). Play and Playfulness. A Professional Support Document for the New Brunswick Curriculum Framework for Early Learning and Child Care (English). ​