Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Home| OISE| U of T| Quercus| Site Map | Contact Us | Feeling Distressed?
INSPIRING EDUCATION | oise.utoronto.ca
Atkinson Centre

About Us > What We Do > Student Research

Student Research

 

The Atkinson Centre Internships were established with the support of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation to build knowledge capacity of students in early childhood policy development. The purpose of the Atkinson Internships includes providing students with stronger training and key skills to bolster their experience and to strengthen their understanding of policy implications on children and families. The internships are also expected to support opportunities for pre-employment experience.


Stephanie Ocampo
RECE, BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2016

Stephanie Ocampo is a registered Early Childhood Educator who graduated with her Early Childhood Education diploma from George Brown College in the spring of 2015. She is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership baccalaureate program at George Brown College. During her time at the Atkinson Centre, she hopes to broaden her knowledge in research and policy, as well as increase her understanding of child development. She aims to strengthen her early development research skills along with her ability to support young children and their families. Ocampo believes that with the experience she will gain at the Atkinson Centre, it will enable her to grow as a person - both personally and professionally.

Back to top>

Safra Najeemudeen
MA Candidate & Atkinson Intern 2016

Safra is currently in her first year of the Early Childhood Studies Master’s degree at Ryerson University. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a PhD in Policy Studies. Safra has extensive experience working with and supporting young children and their families. Through her work as a program facilitator for a family resource centre, she has developed a strong interest in supporting new Canadian families and policies affecting these families. During her internship at the Atkinson Centre, Safra would like to strengthen her capacity and knowledge base on early childhood policy in Canada. Her research study will focus on school-based family support program characteristics that are fundamental to successful familial outcomes.

Back to top>

Brooke Gouweleew
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2015

Brooke is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership Degree at George Brown College. After graduating, Brooke hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy. Through her employment at the City of Toronto Brooke has worked with families of varied circumstances, and through this work has developed a strong interest in the policies affecting families, and the process of policy development in the early childhood sector. During her internship with the Atkinson Centre, Brooke aims to develop her research skills and deepen her understanding of policy creation and implementation to better understand the impact policy has on the various levels of society. Brooke enjoys learning different theoretical perspectives on early childhood education and care, and is looking forward to continuing to broaden this knowledge during her time with the Atkinson Centre.

Back to top>

Shailja Jain
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2015

Shailja Jain is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership program at George Brown College. She graduated with her diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College in April of 2014. Through her experiences in the sector as well as the classroom, Shailja has developed interests in learning about the gendering of the sector of early childhood as well as the effects of positive mentorship and leadership in the sector. In the future Shailja hopes to pursue a PhD in Child Studies focusing on advocacy through a policy and research based perspective. During her internship with the Atkinson Centre, Shailja aims to strengthen her research and advocacy skills while gaining experience in the sector of Early Childhood.

Back to top>

Nicola Maguire
RECE

Nicola has over 11 years of experience in early childhood education and over nine years experience teaching visual art to children and youth through the Toronto District School Board of Education, the City of Toronto and her own private art school. Nicola was a recipient of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, London Branch (AECEO, London) Children’s Service Award in 2001 for recognition of her dedicated work with children and their families and the Outstanding Student Award in 1990, when she graduated from Fanshawe College’s Early Childhood Education program.  Nicola is well known throughout her community for her extensive volunteer fundraising work supporting children’s arts programming.  She is currently enrolled at George Brown College in the Early Childhood Leadership Bachelor of Arts program.

Back to top>

Charene Pillay
RECE

Charene has a diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College. Throughout the program Charene has worked with children from ages 2-7 and their families in various settings including full day kindergarten. Charene is devoted to continuing her education as a full time student in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership Bachelors of Arts program.

Back to top>

Vittoria Rotiroti
RECE

Vittoria is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, graduating from the George Brown College Early Childhood Education Diploma Program. While Vittoria is employed fulltime as an ECE, she is continuing her education as a student in the George Brown College Early Childhood Leadership Bachelor of Arts Program.

Back to top>

Courtney Trafford
RECE

Courtney has received her ECE Diploma from George Brown College and has experience in the field as an early childhood educator including working in a George Brown Lab School.  She has supported children with specials needs and in a hospital setting, completing a volunteer placement at The Hospital for Sick Children.  Courtney is currently enrolled in the George Brown College Early Childhood Leadership Bachelor of Arts program. 

Back to top>

Stephanie Sorgiovanni
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2014

Stephanie is a registered Early Childcare Educator who graduated with her Early Childhood Education Diploma at Sheridan College in 2013. She is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership program and will be graduating in April 2015 with a BA in Early Childhood Leadership. She has been working in the Early Childhood profession since 2011 as a supply staff during her studies. Through her studies and work in the Early Childhood profession, she has developed an interest in the implications of technology on various developmental outcomes for children, particularly on how technology affects children’s social and physical well-being.  During her Atkinson Centre internship at OISE, she would like to strengthen her early development research skills, as well as increase her knowledge on the implications of Full Day Kindergarten on early learning.

Back to top>

Jenny Rajewski
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2014

Jenny Rajewski is a registered early childhood educator who graduated with honours from the ECE diploma program at George Brown College in 2013. She is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership Degree at George Brown College and aspires to participate in a Master’s program in the future. During her internship at the Atkinson Centre, Jenny aims to learn from mentoring opportunities as well as cultivate her research skills in order to develop her capacities as an advocate and leader in the early years sector. Through an increasing understanding of policy development, and its impact on the ability to provide accessible, high quality early childhood education and care, she believes that she will be better equipped to support children, families and the educators and who serve them. Jenny has a strong interest in reflective practices that contribute to fostering self-regulation and increased resiliency in young children.

Back to top>

Iris Liu
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2014

Iris Liu is currently in her third year of the Early Childhood Leadership program at George Brown College. Through her studies and volunteer experiences, Iris has an interest in working with at-risk children and families, and learning about environmental stressors that may affect the development of children. During her internship at The Atkinson Centre, Iris aims to further strengthen her research and advocacy skills related to early learning, health and public policy. She also looks forward to gaining new pedagogical knowledge that can be applied to her future studies.

Back to top>

Rabeya Hossain
MA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2014

Rabeya Hossain is a MA student at Ryerson University in the Early Childhood Studies Program. She has 12 years of experience in working with young children and early childhood professionals in Bangladesh. She has also worked closely with the consultants from Red River College, Manitoba supporting the development of a competency based modular training approach for the pre-primary teachers and supervisors in Bangladesh. Through her work in the early childhood field in Bangladesh, she has developed a strong interest in the professional development of the early childhood educators. During her internship at the Atkinson Centre, she would like to strengthen her capacity and knowledge base in early childhood research. Her research will focus on the early childhood educators’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in the full day kindergarten program.

Back to top>

Tianhong Zheng
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2013

Tianhong is currently in her third year of early childhood leadership program (BA) at George Brown College. Through her study and work in various early childhood settings, she has developed strong interest in cultural influences in early learning and the barriers to children’s development outcomes.   She is also concerned about the provision of quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). The focus of her internship at Atkinson Centre was to review the provincial/territorial based ECEC development. She wants to improve her advocacy skills and gain a better understanding of government policy and its effects on children’s outcomes. 

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Lisa Johnston
BA Candidate, School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University & Atkinson Centre Intern 2013

Lisa Johnston is a registered early childhood educator at George Brown College in the Charles Street Lab School. She has worked in the early childhood profession for 10 years, working with preschool, school age and, for the past seven years, kindergarten aged children.  She has developed an expertise in implementing a constructivist, play-based, emergent curriculum focusing on the fostering of self-regulation and pro-social skills among kindergarten aged children. She has also worked closely with resource consultants supporting children with autism and their families. Lisa has completed an early childhood education diploma at George Brown College and is completing requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University. She completed a research related practicum with Dr. Michael Mueller that focused on the use of a math screening tool in JK, SK and Grade 1 to help teachers assess math development in order to inform future curriculum planning. She assisted Dr. Mueller in collecting data. Through this experience she has developed an interest in building her research capacity, and looks forward to the opportunity to be involved in the work of the Atkinson Centre.

Back to top>

Jayme Herman
PhD Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Jayme Herman is in the second year of the  Ph.D program in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE/UT. For the comprehensive component of the program, Jayme will be completing an internship which will focus on reviewing and refining a framework and creating an accompanying measure to assess student’s self efficacy and global capability. Typically student self efficacy focuses on a student’s confidence or belief in their social, academic, and self-regulatory abilities and competencies. Global Capability is the ability to be effective anywhere, anytime with anyone. To be globally capable, one must understand the key forces shaping the world, and believe in one’s efficacy in influencing those forces.  The scale Jayme will create is meant to allow schools to monitor student self efficacy and global capability which will in turn inform educational curriculum and teacher practice.

Back to top>

Melanie Viglas
PhD Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Melanie is a registered Early Childhood Educator and a certified teacher. After teaching kindergarten for 5 years, she returned to OISE to pursue her doctoral studies in the Ph.D. Early Learning Cohort program. Her research, looks at the benefits of bringing mindfulness into kindergarten programs to promote self-regulation and empathy.

During her internship at the Atkinson Center, she will be looking at the development of self-regulation and social-emotional development in toddlers. Drawing on literature from the field of mindful teaching and mindful parenting, she will create a training module for early childhood educators. She hopes the Atkinson Internship will strengthen awareness about the benefits of bringing mindfulness into early childhood programs.

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Sherrika Cooper
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Sherrika is a registered early childhood educator who graduated with her ECE from George Brown College in 2009 and will be graduating with a BA in Early Childhood Leadership in June 2013 also from George Brown College.  She will be entering the initial teacher education program at OISE in the fall of 2013.  Along with an interest in advocacy in Early Learning and Full Day Kindergarten and how this new program will impact the children and the families involved, she has developed an interest in mentoring relationships and how they impact children of colour.  During her Atkinson Centre internship at OISE, she wants to strengthen her advocacy skills and increase her knowledge in research and public policy in early learning, in addition to strengthening her knowledge base of  benefits that mentoring relationships have on children.

Back to top>

Zoubayda Choucair
BA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Zoubayda completed her Early Childhood Education Diploma at George Brown College in 2011. She is currently in her third year of Early Childhood Leadership Program (BA) at George Brown College. During her third semester in the Early Childhood Leadership Program (BA) she has developed an interest in Early Learning and Technology. In particular, how to integrate developmentally appropriate technology into early childhood education settings. In her future independent study she hopes to examine the barriers Early Childhood Educator's face in providing children experiences with technology to foster positive relationships between nature-based learning and gesture-based learning. During her Atkinson Centre internship at OISE, she wants to build and strengthen her knowledge in early childhood policy development and its implications on the ecology of the child and their families.

Back to top>

Joanne Murrell
MA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Joanne is an M.A. student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia in the school of Child and Youth Care.  Joanne is an ECE with a B.A. (Honors) from Ryerson University, and a National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) diploma from the United Kingdom.  Joanne's research interest is quality in early childhood programs and services.  Joanne is interested in early childhood policy, service integration, advocacy, and training.

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Sinéad Rafferty
MES Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2012

Sinéad is a registered early childhood educator and is currently in her first year of the Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) program at York University.  Her research interests are in integrating ecological literacy in early childhood education, both for the early learning and care programs, and at the post-secondary level for early childhood educators in training. In particular, she is interested in examining the potential limits and barriers Early Childhood Education programs face in providing children experiences that foster positive relationships with the natural world.  Sinéad hopes to contribute to building awareness among Early Childhood Educators about the important health and psychological benefits of providing outdoor, nature-based learning experiences for children in the early years. As a member of the Atkinson team, Sinéad is excited to support research and policy initiatives that support healthy, holistic learning for young children and their families.

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Mark Wade
MA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2011

Mark is currently in the second year of the Master's program in School and Clinical Child Psychology at OISE/UT. His research examines the effect of genetic and environmental influences on children’s theory of mind (ToM) development. In particular, he is interested in how genetic risk factors combine with environmental adversity (e.g. socioeconomic disadvantage and poor parenting) to influence ToM. He is also interested in identifying "precursors" to ToM: early abilities that are required for later development of ToM. Collectively, this research can help determine which children are at risk for ToM impairments. This is important since ToM deficits in children have been linked to social difficulties, behaviour problems, and autism spectrum disorder. Mark is also completing a practicum in the Toronto District School Board, where he works with many children who show these kinds of difficulties. As a member of the Atkinson team, Mark hopes his research can inform early intervention and policy efforts aimed at improving child outcomes. 

Back to top>

Heather Prime
MA Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern 2011

Heather is currently in her second year of the Master's in School and Child Clinical Psychology at OISE/U of T. Her research examines the familial influences on children's psychological development. In particular, she is interested in how parental and sibling scaffolding influences children's cognitive outcomes, as well as how levels of scaffolding vary depending on level of risk in the home. She has recently developed a behavioural observation measure of scaffolding for parents and siblings that utilizes a thin-slice approach (i.e. quick, impressionistic judgments).  Clinically, Heather is doing a practicum in the TDSB conducting psychoeducational assessments and implementing interventions for school-aged children. Heather is happy to be part of the Atkinson team where she can contribute to bridging research, clinical, and policy domains to better serve children and adolescents.

Back to top>

Freshteh Bibishahrbanoui
BA Candidiate, Atkinson Centre Intern 2011

Freshteh is a registered early childhood educator at a George Brown College Lab School/Early Learning Centre. She has worked with kindergarten-aged children and had developed an expertise in the area of literacy and numeracy.  She has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Delhi, India, has completed an early childhood education diploma program at George Brown College and is currently in the final year of Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University.  Freshteh completed a Full Day Kindergarten practicum at a TDSB in early 2011 which developed an interest in the professional relationship between ECEs and teachers. Through her Atkinson Centre internship she is looking forward to being involved in research projects.

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Shelly Mehta
Doctoral Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern at the Association for Early Childhood Educators Ontario 2011

PhD Comprehensive: Association for Early Childhood Educators Ontario

In collaboration with the Association for Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, Shelly is coordinating a study investigating the factors that influence employment in early childhood for foreign trained educators who have completed the Bridging Program through the Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario. In particular, the study will focus on whether foreign undergraduate training in early education and professional experience outside of Canada has an impact on the type of employment gained and what the barriers and supports are in finding employment and achieving professional satisfaction. Data will be collected through interviews with graduates from the program and results will guide a final report to the Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario. The overarching goal of the study is to help inform programs in the future and to raise the importance of foreign credentials that educators bring to the Canadian learning context.

Internship report> (pdf)

Back to top>

Romona Gananathan
Doctoral Candidate & Atkinson Centre Intern at the Martin Aboriginal Initiative 2011

PhD Comprehensive: Martin Aboriginal Initiative

The Chippewa’s of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation along with the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation and the Martin Aboriginal Initiative are developing an Early Learning Program that will model an integrated and seamless full day learning and care program for children 0-6 years and their families. The MAI is also working with the community to promote literacy in children attending Hillside School.

To support the work of the project, Romona is conducting an environmental scan that includes a comprehensive review of legislation, policy, funding and research documentation related to Aboriginal early education in Ontario. Education and early learning programs within First Nations communities in Canada operate under a complex system of federal and provincial oversight and Bands are charged with the delivery of education and early learning initiatives in their communities. Romona’s work will help the to chart the legal and policy implications of developing an integrated early learning service delivery model on the reserve by documenting the federal and provincial policy and funding frameworks and agreements as they relate to education and early learning at Kettle and Stony Point First Nations, and identifying potential opportunities and challenges these frameworks may pose to implementing a model program in the community.

Back to top>

OISEcms v.1.0 | Site last updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 Disclaimer | Webmaster

© OISE University of Toronto
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6 CANADA