Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

OISE graduate students receive Friedrich Froebel Early Childhood Education Scholarship

December 13, 2019

By Perry King  


Pictured L-R: Dr. Eric Jackman, Mrs. Sara Jackman, Professor Earl Woodruff, Jacqueline Wilson, Sarah Tracz, Krystina Telesca, Aicha Jaichi, Jessica Costello, Annemarie Van Essen, Wouter Van Essen and Professor Rhonda Martinussen. 


At a bustling research gala held by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education’s department of applied psychology and human development on December 4 at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, six students were recognized for their studies in early childhood education.

They received the Friedrich Froebel Early Childhood Education Scholarship, named in honour of 19th century German educator Friedrich Froebel and the Froebel Foundation, an organization dedicated to furthering childhood education. With hundreds of faculty, students, staff and friends in attendance, including Dr. Eric Jackman and Mrs. Sara Jackman, Jessica Costello, Aicha Jaichi, Krystina Telesca, Sarah Tracz and Jacqueline Wilson received plaques from Annemarie and Wouter Van Essen, trustees of the Froebel Foundation. Tajuana Payne, also a winner, was not in attendance.


student froebel winner

Wouter and Annemarie Van Essen, trustees of the Froebel Foundation, pictured with PhD student presenter Stephanie Buono (centre) at the department of applied psychology and human development research gala.


The winners, graduate students in the Child Study and Education program, met the trustees for the first time at the research gala, connecting with each other on the importance of their work but also to enjoy each other’s company.

“I would love it if we can keep in contact them, I really think that would be important for us,” said Annemarie, a retired teacher and, most recently, the assistant principal at the now-closed Froebel Education Centre.

The foundation was founded by alumna, the late Dr. Barbara Corbett – who believed there was nothing more important than ensuring children received the best education possible (and that educators were well-equipped to teach them). A lifelong champion of early childhood education, Corbett’s approach was based on the Froebel’s principle that children’s education must begin with their own natural activity and learning through play.


glen jones

OISE Dean Glen Jones (centre left) poses with Annemarie and Wouter Van Essen, Froebal scholarship recipient Aicha Jaichi, faculty and staff in celebration of 2019 Friedrich Froebel Early Childhood Education Scholarship recipients. When the centre closed in 2017, the Froebel Foundation wanted to find a way to carry on Dr. Corbett’s legacy.


“How can we lay the basis for education at the university’s childhood education studies? [The scholarship] was a good way to plant seeds for Froebel to live on,” said Wouter Van Essen, president of the Froebel Foundation.

The scholarship will help students conduct research in early childhood education methods, including Froebel’s approach and philosophy that education should focus on social and personal growth – and academic development – that reaches beyond the classroom.

The students are all grateful for being recognized – and now have a chance to take their education further.

“I’m looking forward to doing further education with early childhood studies,” said Jessica Costello. “This scholarship means so much to me because I can pursue another year of education – even though I told myself I wasn’t but here I am. I’m excited to be going back to school year.”

The fourth annual research gala celebrated the department’s research achievements and award winners. It featured displays from the department’s numerous labs and research teams. For more information about the department’s many undertakings, visit


More OISE news

OISE announces new Doctor of Education program in child study and education

OISE PhD student appointed chair of federal committee for awards in volunteering

OISE ranked as top Canadian institute for education