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Applied Psychology &  Human Development



Michel Ferrari

Associate Professor (DPE)
Head, Centre for Applied Cognitive Science
OISE/UT Room: 9-132
(416) 978-1070
Fax: (416) 926-4713


Development of academic excellence; teaching for wisdom; conceptual change; evolution and theory of mind and consciousness; personal identity and self-awareness

Research Projects/Activities

For more information on Dr Ferrari's research activities please contact him at mferrari@oise.utoronto.ca

Research Interests

I am interested in personal identity and how it develops. This extends to questions of academic and professional expertise and how these are acquired (including the problem of intentional and radical conceptual change). I am also interested in the role of learning technologies and instructional design in promoting personal and professional development. Finally, I am interested in the study of personal conscious experience, both in contemporary cognitive science and in the history of psychology.

I am currently the head of the Centre for Applied Cognitive Science. My work looks at the development of self-awareness (i.e., self-knowledge and self-concern), and how self-awareness relates to expertise, ethics and conceptual change. My current research focuses on teaching for wisdom, both in North American public schools and as practiced around the world.

Applied/Clinical Interests

I and my students are currently studying the experience of personal identity in clinical populations, specifically, individuals diagnosed with ADHD or autism.

Specialty Courses

Along with general courses on research methods and Foundations of Human Development and Education, I am currently preparing a course on the history of the science of consciousness. I have also taught a course on what constitutes excellence in psychology and education.

Representative Publications

Taylor, R. & Ferrari, M. (Eds.) (in press), Epistemology and Science Education: Understanding the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Controversy. New York : Taylor & Francis.  

Ferrari, M. & Vuletic, L. (Eds.) (in press),  Development of Mind, Brain, and Education: Essays in honor of Robbie Case. Amsterdam , NL: Springer.

Ferrari, M. & Potworowski, G. (Ed.) (2008). Teaching for Wisdom. Amsterdam , NL: Springer.

Vuletic, L., & Ferrari, M. (2005). Perspectives on unusualness: A transfer boy. London, England : Jessica Kingley Press.

Shavinina, L. V. & Ferrari, M. (Eds.) (2004).  Beyond knowledge: Extracognitive facets in developing high ability. Mahwah, NJ : Erlbaum.

Ferrari, M., & Okamoto, C. (2003). From William James to Jean Piaget: Moral development as the personal education of feeling and reason. Journal of Moral Education.

Ferrari, M. (2003). Baldwin's two developmental resolutions to the mind-body problem. Developmental Review, 23, 79-108. (Special issue in honor of William Kessen; M. Ferrari, guest editor)