Grants & Projects
OISE faculty work with a huge variety of projects from early childhood development to lifelong learning with many different partners and sponsors. We share and expand our education expertise by partnering locally and worldwide on research initiativies, student and faculty exchanges, curriculum development and education consulting.
OISE-led SSHRC Research grants from 2015-2016 (click here to learn more!)
OISE-led SSHRC Research grants from 2014-2015 (click here to learn more!)
OISE-led SSHRC Research grants from 2013-2014 (click here to learn more!)
OISE Research grants from 2012- 2014:
This list includes awards that were created between January 2012 - June 2014. Co-PI activities are not included unless sub-granted to University of Toronto. The list excludes small scale research grants, journal grants, student and doctoral awards.
|Investigator||Title (and link to research summary where available)||Sponsor|
|Professor Lauren Bialystok||New Researcher 2012-13: Refining the Authenticity Discourse in Education||University of Toronto, Connaught Fund|
|Professor Abigail Bakan||Debating Racism and Framing Anti-Racism: The Analytical and Policy Implications of United Nations World Conferences 2001-2009||University of Alberta|
|Professor Kathy Bickmore||Peace-building citizenship learning in Canada and Mexico: School connections with life experience||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Carol Campbell||Whole system education leadership: Learning from experienced government leaders, developing future leaders||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Becky Xi Chen||Ensuring reading success for all students in early French immersion||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Michael Connelly (Emeritus)||Reciprocal learning in teacher education and school education between Canada and China||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor James Cummins||Evaluation of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Mandarin program of choice at Prince Philip Junior Public||Hamilton Wentworth District School|
|Professor Indigo Esmonde||Learning Interaction Lab (LiLa)||Canada Foundation for Innovation|
|Professor Indigo Esmonde||Solving Inequalities: Building Capacities for Schools and Communities to use the Mathematics||Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation|
|Professor Joseph Flessa||Patterns of course-taking and transition for Applied to Academic subjects: Bridges or barriers in Ontario||Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada|
|Professor Kathleen Gallagher||Urban School Performances Laboratory and Communication project||Canada Foundation for Innovation|
|Professor Patricia Ganea||New Researcher 2012-13: Using picture books to teach young children science||University of Toronto, Connaught Fund|
|Professor Patricia Ganea||Toddler's Use of Language to Update Mental Representations||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Patricia Ganea||Young children's learning via picture books||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Rubén Gaztambide-Fernandez||Researching Elite Education: Addressing the Conceptual, Methodological and Ethical Challenges||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Diane Gerin-Lajoie||Les jeunes anglophones de l'exterieur de Montrealet leur rapport a l'identite.||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Joseph Gillis||Catalyst Grant: Pathways to HIV literacy through community advocacy and self-empowerment for HIV+ immigrant, refugee,||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Professor Abby Goldstein||Examination of A Developmental Model of Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems in Emerging Adulthood||The Foundation for Alcohol Research (ABMRF)|
|Professor Tara Goldstein||Teaching Other People's Children: Enhancing the Dissemination of Harriet's House and Ana's Shadow||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Eunice Jang||Learning Environments Across Disciplines (LEADS): Supporting Technology Rich Learning Across Disciplines||McGill University|
|Professor Jennifer Jenkins||The development of cooperation in relationships: Protective processes for children vulnerable to mental health problems||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Professor Jennifer Jenkins||Atkinson Partners Initiative||Atkinson Charitable Foundation|
|Professor Jennifer Jenkins||Schools at the Centre of the Community: A case study of the Waterloo School Board||Lyle S. Hallman Foundation and the Lawson Foundation|
|Professor Jennifer Jenkins||Support for the Early Childhood Education Report||Lawson Foundation and Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation|
|Professor Glen Jones||Exploring the Work of Part-Time Contingent Faculty in Ontario Universities||Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario|
|Professor Glen Jones||Outcomes-based Education Initiatives in Ontario Post-Secondary Education: Case Studies||Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario|
|Professor Glen Jones||Federation and Affiliation Agreements in Canadian Universities: Their Evolution and Current Application||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Clare Kosnik||Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education for the Digital Era|
|Professor Kang Lee||Exploring dishonesty in children with severe conduct problems||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Professor Kang Lee||Dynamic Face Processing in Infants, Children, and Adults||Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council|
|Professor Rhonda Martinussen||Examining the potential for digital media to bridge the gap between coursework and practicum experiences in preservice||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Angela Miles||The Global Women’s Movement and Women’s Human Rights||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Kiran Mirchandani||Closing the Enforcement Gap: Improving Protections for People in Precarious Jobs||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Cecilia Morgan||Canadian actresses on transnational stages, 1860s-1940s||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Joan Moss||Can Young Children's Spatial Thinking Be Improved through Computerized Game Play?||Ontario Educational Communications Authority|
|Professor Karen Mundy||The World Bank and the Privatization of Education Research Project Extension: Country Cases in India, Nepal and Pakistan||Open Society Institute - New York|
|Professor Janette Pelletier||Fostering collective progress in online discourse for sustained knowledge building||State University of New York|
|Professor Janette Pelletier||Examining the effects of computerized learning in young||Ontario Educational Communications Authority|
|Professor Michal Perlman||City of Toronto Children's Services Operating Criteria Validation Study||City of Toronto|
|Professor Michal Perlman||The impact of family relationships on children's development health: Child versus context effects||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Professor Michele Peterson-Badali||A Process Evaluation of the Community Youth Court||Justice Canada|
|Professor Carol Rolheiser||Hatch, match, and dispatch: Examining the relationship between student intent, expectations, behaviours and outcomes in six Coursera MOOCs at the University of Toronto||Athabasca University, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Subgrant|
|Professor Creso Sá||The State of Entrepreneurship Education in Ontario Postsecondary Education||Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario|
|Professor Tricia Seifert||Measuring Organizational Structures and Approaches to Student Support: The Relationship with Student Success||Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation|
|Professor James Slotta||New technology supports for community health workers in South Africa: Impacting knowledge and practice||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor James Slotta||CHAT: Health innovation for HIV-MNCH community health workers in South Africa||University of California, San Francisco|
|Professor James Slotta||DIP: Community knowledge construction in the instrumented classroom||Univ of Illinois at Chicago, National Science Foundation Subgrant|
|Professor James Slotta||Hampshire College Citizen Science technology||Hampshire College, National Science Foundation Subgrant|
|Professor Stephanie Springgay||Publics and Performance Art||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Stephanie Springgay||Performing Lines: Innovations in sensory and walking methodologies||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Shelley Stagg Peterson||Assessing and supporting children's oral language and writing development through play in K-3 classrooms, daycares||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Suzanne Stewart||Stronger together: Helping each other to strengthen and sustain indigenous youth identity and cultural knowledge||University of Victoria|
|Professor Suzanne Stewart||Work-life identity of Aboriginal youth; Exploring the momentum of challenges and strengths in career||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
|Professor Richard Volpe||A multi-stage proposal to case and review best practices in the prevention of adult falls in everyday activities||Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation|
|Professor Njoki Wane||Investing in Diversity: Embracing 21st Century Leaders||Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council|
New Researcher 2012-13: Refining the Authenticity Discourse in Education
Professor Lauren Bialystok, Department of Humanitites, Social Sciences & Social Justice
Authenticity is a familiar but poorly defined concept whose value is routinely taken for granted. My project will take this concept, which is widely used in different educational contexts, and apply the methods and insights of philosophy to contribute to a more rigorous understanding of its meaning and value. Educators are encouraged to develop authentic classrooms, authentic assessments, authentic learning, authentic professional practices, and authentic identities (e.g. Ashton, 2010; Chickering et al., 2006; Cranton, 2001; Newmann et al., 1996). I will examine all these uses of authenticity and import my knowledge of philosophical accounts of authenticity to reflect on what is properly connoted by each of them and whether they amount to an overarching ideal that should be pursued by educational research and policy.
How could peace-building and citizenship education in school connect with the actual life experiences of young people – especially those in marginalized communities? Despite widespread concern about social fractures and democratic disengagement, many diverse young people ARE engaged in trying to address problems in their (local and transnational) communities. However, often they participate in different activities from the formal citizenship typically taught in school. Unfortunately, prevailing attempts to address youth violence often emphasize security over education. The project responds to the need for research on how teaching and learning activities in schools might (but often do not) contribute to tangible peace-building citizenship consequences in the lives of students and, conversely, how the lived concerns and social participation experiences of young people might be engaged to improve the relevance and democratic power of school-based teaching and learning activities. Research sites are purposively chosen public schools (intermediate grades) in contrasting violent and less-violent communities in urban Canada and Mexico, in which educators have expressed interest in improving their citizenship and/or peace-building education practices.
Whole system education leadership: Learning from experienced government leaders, developing future leaders
Professor Carol Campbell, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
SSSHRC Insight Development Grant
This proposal focuses on developing the concept of Whole System Education Leadership with a focus on the practices of Deputy Ministers of Education in Canada's provinces and their equivalents internationally. While existing research suggests the importance of governments leading Whole System Reform, there is a lack of research on the actual leadership practices of government officials to develop and deliver education system improvement. This proposal seeks to bring together three main areas of foci - the 'what' of educational policy and practice interventions involved in Whole System Reform for innovations to improve entire education systems, plus the 'how' of educational leadership practices focused on improvements for schools and students combined with the public service leadership knowledge and skills of government officials - in the new concept of Whole System Education Leadership. The findings will be relevant to government leaders and to organizations working with government leaders and/or for education system reform.
Ensuring reading success for all students in early French immersion
Professor Becky Xi Chen, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
SSHRC Insight Grant
Canadian French immersion education was originally developed to encourage French-English bilingualism among children speaking English as their first language (L1). Despite clear record of success for early French immersion, it still faces several challenges. To address these issues, we propose a large-scale four-year longitudinal project with children in early French immersion. Approximately 320 children enrolled in early French immersion programs will be recruited from Toronto and Vancouver, two major Canadian cities with diverse populations. The project has three objectives. The first objective is to understand cross-language transfer between English and French. The second objective is to compare literacy development in English and French between multilingual children and English L1 children across multiple time points between Grade 1 and Grade 4. The third objective is to identify screening measures that accurately identify at-risk reading status for both English L1 and multilingual children. The proposed SSHRC project will produce a comprehensive theoretical framework for cross-language transfer in French immersion children.
Reciprocal learning in teacher education and school education between Canada and China
Professor Michael Connelly (Emeritus), Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
SSHRC Partnership Grant subgrant
This SSHRC Partnership Project involves two Canadian and five Chinese universities, two Canadian school boards and over forty Canadian and Chinese schools. The project is Co-Directed by Professors Xu Shijing, University of Windsor and Michael Connelly, OISE/UT and is advised by an International Advisory Committee. University of Toronto professors Doug McDougall, Grace Feuerverger, Jim Slotta, Jim Cummins, Jim Hewitt, Gila Hanna, Ruth Hayhoe, Linda Cameron, Mark Evans, and Lee Bartel are Co-Applicants and Collaborators. The primary goal is to build a knowledge base for understanding and comparing the Canadian and Chinese educational systems, for generating positive, reciprocal, practitioner knowledge and methods, and for contributing to public discussion of primary and secondary education in China, Canada and more broadly. The secondary goal is to build a sustainable framework for practitioner communication beyond the life of the project. Researchers will begin with national surveys and the review of educational policy and relevant literature. The main research activity will be school visits to document classroom teaching and other school activities. Research findings will be presented at annual general meetings held at Partner universities. The work will be mobilized for academic, professional and public audiences by traditional methods and by the use of an electronic communication platform developed by the ITC Research Team.
With the support of the infrastructure project, the research program will pioneer research practices in the study of how social interaction supports learning. The requested infrastructure will enable the development of research methods for digital video data that take advantage of the unique affordances of video.
Solving Inequalities: Building Capacities for Schools and Communities to use the Mathematics
Professor Indigo Esmonde, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Early Researcher Award
The goal of the study is to collaborate with schools and community organizations to improve mathematics achievement and graduation rates for youth. Youth will be engaged directly in identifying issues of concern to their communities, and using mathematics to investigate these issues and to work for positive change in their communities. Research will focus on how best to support youth in mathematics learning, both inside and outside of schools.
Our project supports research practices in the area of collaborative hypermedia ethnography. Bringing together diverse cities, we examine student engagement and pedagogical, and citizenship practices from a local-global perspective to illustrate how global ethnography is changed by theatre-based, participatory, and digital research methods. Because the insights of youth about questions of engagement with school and community remain the central concern, our work has explored new ways to engage diverse youth in the research process, in a context of international communities equally concerned with “raising the bar” for those students most disengaged from traditional practices of schooling. Our partner schools are located in Canada, India, Taiwan, the US, England, and Greece. Our collaboration aims to address a gap in current understanding regarding the relationships among culture, identity, multicultural/equity policies and citizenship that, taken together, have considerable impact on the lives of youth in underserved schools and communities.
NR 2012-13: Using picture books to teach young children science
Professor Patricia Ganea, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
University of Toronto, Connaught Fund, New Researcher Award
This research investigates the effect of different features of books on learning and generalization of simple scientific information by preschool and kindergarten children. The proposed studies will employ books involving scientific concepts, focusing on the domain of biology. The proposed project, which is part of a systematic program of research, includes three experimental studies which complement each other to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the process by which young children acquire and extend new knowledge from picture book experiences to the real world. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of a set of picture-book interventions that will eventually be used as part of the science curriculum in the Ontario Full-Day Early-Learning program. This research will advance knowledge both in psychology, in science education and in education. It will be instrumental in filling a current gap in the literature and given the focus on learning, the findings should have implications for scientists, early childhood educators, and parents.
Toddler's Use of Language to Update Mental Representations
Professor Patricia Ganea, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
SSHRC Insight grant
The proposed project includes a series of five experimental studies which complement each other to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the role of language in early learning. The proposed studies are designed to examine (1) individual differences in children’s ability to integrate verbal information into their existing knowledge, and (2) factors that facilitate or impede toddlers’ ability to update on the basis of verbal information. To explore these issues, we will test children between 19- and 30-months-of-age. The five studies will thoroughly investigate how updating via language develops across a variety of experimental paradigms. The results of the research will contribute to our general understanding of children’s learning and of the early use of language to think about objects and events that are not visible at the time of communication. In addition, the results of this research will have implications for populations with language deficits, whose capacity to use language is impaired and thus whose capacity to update may also be affected.
Les jeunes anglophones de l'extérieur de Montréal et leur rapport à l'identité / Anglophone youth living outside of Montreal and their rapport to identity
Professor Diane Gerin-Lajoie, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
SSHRC Insight grant
Adolescents who belong to one of the two official minority languages in Canada - Francophones living outside of Québec and Anglophones in Québec - develop a rapport to language and culture that inevitably brings them to live at the border of two languages, and sometimes three languages in the case of other ethnic minorities. In this context, what is the rapport to identity developed by these adolescents? How do they perceive themselves? As Anglophones, Francophones, Bilinguals? The objective of the study is to examine closely the process of identity construction in teenagers enrolled in English language high schools in Québec, outside of Montreal. The investigation will use a qualitative research approach in the form of life stories of a small group of students, based on in-depth individual interviews. Members of their family, their friends, as well as their teachers will also be interviewed, allowing for a better understanding of the students lived experiences with language, culture and identity.
Examination of A Developmental Model of Alcohol Use and Alcohol Problems in Emerging Adulthood
Professor Abby Goldstein, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
The Foundation for Alcohol Research (ABMRF)
The purpose of this study is to better understand how attachment styles (i.e., a mental model of relationships that emerges from early relationships with caregivers), difficulties regulating emotions, and problems in interpersonal relationships influence drinking in emerging adulthood (ages 18-25), a period of increased risk for alcohol use and drinking problems. Difficulties in these areas are particularly important for emerging adults because early experiences with primary caregivers influence how individuals respond to distress, seek support, and connect with others during developmental transitions. We will recruit 200 emerging adults (ages 18-24) and assess these relationships across one year and over 28 days using online daily diaries. Findings from this study will have important implications for intervention, with the goal of identifying who would benefit most from treatment and establishing specific intervention targets.
Teaching Other People's Children: Enhancing the Dissemination of Harriet's House and Ana's Shadow
Professor Tara Goldstein, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
SSHRC Public Outreach Grants - Special Call
As an educational researcher and teacher educator who has been preparing teachers to work with diverse high school students and their families for 17 years, I know how complex, nuanced and challenging this work can be. Over the past 12 years, I have been working with the innovative approach of “performed ethnography” to support and enrich the professional development work I do with teachers working in diverse classrooms across Canada and internationally. Performed ethnography involves turning ethnographic research data into play scripts which are then performed, read aloud and/or discussed with a variety of audiences. Often issues of diversity and equity are discussed in a depersonalized, distanced manner. Engaging in the reading of an ethnographic script is a powerful way of creating a personal and emotional connection with issues faced by the characters of the play. This outreach project extended the reach of Harriet’s House and Ana’s Shadow by producing (1) a set of digitally videotaped performances from the two plays and (2) a teacher’s guide that can be used by high school teachers and students.
Schools at the Centre of the Community: A Case Study of the Waterloo School Board
Professor Jennifer Jenkins, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development with Zeenat Janmohamed, Visiting Scholar, Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development
Lyle S. Hallman Foundation and the Lawson Foundation
The Waterloo District School Board is one of the few school boards in Ontario implementing a vision to ensure that children´s experiences are focused on optimal learning opportunities within a supportive family and community context. The goal of this project, led by the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, is to develop a case study using evidence based storytelling to highlight the partnership between the school board, region and community partners. The project will (1) examine the implementation of seamless early learning in the school board; (2) promote lessons from the collaboration in the Kitchener Waterloo Region by examining factors related to excellence in early learning professional practice and develop popular education material based on the case study: and (3) explore the establishment of a child and family centred school approach as an avenue to strengthen community development.
Support for the Early Childhood Education Report
Professor Jennifer Jenkins, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development with the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development
Lawson Foundation and Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation
The Early Childhood Education Report (ECER) has a two-part mission: to help policy makers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of Canadian preschoolers, and to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing ECE policies and programs. The report documents and assesses ECE service system in provinces and territories and presents the findings on a Canada-wide platform to allow for in-time comparison as well as tracking changes over time, reporting out in 2011, 2014 & 2017. The Report provides regular status updates on the policy approaches that evidence suggests supports ECE service quality and access. A cross-Canada comparison provides a guide to assess progress, set goals for improvement and direct policy making.
The ECE Report consists of a 19 benchmarks of best practices in ECE systems development presented by province/territory; detailed provincial/territorial (P/T) profiles of ECE systems; an ongoing monitor of P/T policy developments and in-depth reviews of the indicators. The project provides timely comment on policy developments and expert advice to policy makers. It continues to evaluate existing indicators and explores the potential development of new ones. Using a continuous loop of research, practice and policy, the Report is constantly ‘refreshed’. Atkinson Centre staff members use a variety of formats to share evidence with policy makers. Supplementary research projects add to the knowledge base and researchers work directly with policy makers to support policy development.
Exploring the Work of Part-Time Contingent Faculty in Ontario Universities
Professor Glen Jones, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Research Agreement
The objective of this project is to collect, synthesize and analyze data on part-time faculty employed at Ontario universities. The study will map employment arrangements by institution, including: employment categories, conditions of employment, remuneration, professional development opportunities, and magnitude of teaching activities by employment category.
Outcomes-based Education Initiatives in Ontario Post-Secondary Education: Case Studies
Professor Glen Jones, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education with Qin Liu, Ph.D. Student
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
This project focuses on outcomes-based education (OBE) initiatives to examine the intersections between quality assurance policies and curriculum development practices in Ontario post-secondary education. What impact have outcomes-based quality assurance mechanisms exerted on curriculum development practice in Ontario post-secondary education?
Federation and Affiliation Agreements in Canadian Universities: Their Evolution and Current Application
Professor Glen Jones, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education. Co-applicant with Kenneth-Roy Bonin, Carleton University
SSHRC Insight Development Grant
This project focuses on the historical evolution of federation and affiliation arrangements associated with Canadian universities. Federation and affiliation arrangements have played an important role in the history of Canadian universities, but they have received surprisingly little attention within contemporary discussions of university governance or higher education reform. The project will involve the collection of copies of the original federation and affiliation agreements and make them openly available in a digital on-line database. The documents will be examined and analyzed in conjunction with a thorough review of institutional and historical accounts. University administrators will be interviewed to confirm the evolution and current application of inter-institutional federations and affiliations and verify initial observations.
Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education for the Digital Era
Professor Clare Kosnik, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
What does it mean to be literate in the twenty first century? Our understanding of “literacy” is undergoing dramatic changes as our forms of communication (e.g., text messaging) have expanded. The fact that literacy now includes a broad set of practices, both in and out of school, requires a revision to traditional reading and writing programs. Our SSHRC-funded Connection Grant, Rethinking Literacy Teacher Education for the Digital Era: Teacher Educators, Literacy Educators, and Digital Technology Experts Working Together, addresses how teacher educators should prepare student teachers for a digitally-complex world. One of the main activities of the grant was to bring together scholars from three disciplines – teacher education, literacy education, and digital technology – and four countries – Canada, US, UK, and Australia for a two-day symposium. The Symposium, held in London England at Tug Agency, http://www.tugagency.com, had 17 participants who examined issues related to digital technology, identified best practices in teacher education, and considered the work of literacy/English teacher educators. Videos of each participant’s mini-presentation and their power points can be found on our website: www.literacyteaching.net (Click on Connection Grant tab). An edited book Building Bridges: Teacher Educators, Literacy Educators, and Digital Technology Experts Working Together is in development.
Exploring dishonesty in children with severe conduct problems
Professor Kang Lee, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
CIHR Operating grant
Little is known about lying among children with conduct disorder problems. The limited existing evidence regarding lying in children with conduct problems mainly comes from reports by parents and teachers; no experimental studies have systematically examined this issue. The present CIHR application aims to bridge this significant gap in our knowledge. We will investigate lie-telling in 6- to 10-year-old children who display severe, yet subclinical, conduct problems as well as a comparable typically developing sample. Our CIHR Open Operating Grant research will provide the first set of experimental data comparing pro- and anti-social lying in children with and without conduct problems, as well as the cognitive and social correlates of such behaviours. The findings of this 5 year large-scale program of research will provide clinicians, parents, and educators with a comprehensive picture of the development of lying in children with and without conduct problems. Further, our results will assist in improving existing assessment tools in order to obtain earlier and more accurate identifications of children with Conduct Disorder, and lead to the development of evidence-based honesty promoting intervention programs.
Dynamic Face Processing in Infants, Children, and Adults
Professor Kang Lee, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
NSERC Discovery Grant
Although faces we encounter on a daily basis are mostly dynamically moving faces that turn, nod, smile, and talk, most of what we currently know about human face processing has come from studies using static faces. Our recent NSERC-funded research has revealed that adults and infants process static and dynamic faces in a dramatically differently manner. This new discovery leads us to ask a fundamental question: Can our current knowledge based on static faces be used to account for how humans actually process faces in real life that are dynamically moving? Building on our recent discoveries, the present proposed program of research continues and extends my current NSERC-funded research significantly. We aim to investigate the specific role that facial motion information plays in our processing of human faces. We hope the findings from our research program will lead to a re-evaluation of current theories and assumptions and the development of new and more ecologically valid accounts of face processing in infants, children, and adults. Further, our normative data will help assess and perhaps train individuals with face processing deficits (e.g., autism) using more naturalistic stimuli.
Examining the potential for digital media to bridge the gap between coursework and practicum experiences in preservice
Professor Rhonda Martinussen, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
SSHRC Insight Development grant
This study represents the first step in programmatic research that will examine the impact of two innovative digital tools on elementary teacher candidates’ knowledge, skills, and beliefs in the domain of elementary reading and writing instruction: “virtual classroom visits” (VCV) and “interactive multimedia modules” (IMMs). The goal of this mixed-methods study is to determine whether VCVs and IMMs can address two persistent challenges facing teacher educators: time and the research-to-practice gap. Our overall research goal is to determine how digital media can be galvanized to enhance the connections between theory, research, and practice in preservice literacy education courses. Specifically, we will examine the impact of the digital tools on students’ knowledge (declarative, procedural, and application) and perceived competence in elementary reading and writing instruction. Scholars addressing knowledge mobilization in education and elsewhere will benefit from this work as it will enhance their understanding of the usefulness of virtual tour technology as a tool for sharing knowledge in complex contexts.
The Global Women’s Movement and Women’s Human Rights
Professor Angela Miles, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
SSHRC Insight Grant
The proposed research will bring an interdisciplinary feminist lens to an intensive longitudinal qualitative study of feminists’ perceptions of the nature and significance of current women’s human rights theory and practice. There are two related strands to this project which will: 1) document the little known but highly successful global campaign that in the early 1990s initially conceptualized ‘women’s rights are human rights’ and won formal acceptance of this principle in the UN human rights system; 2) examine the growth of women’s human rights framed practice in subsequent decades and feminists’ current perceptions of the impact of the predominance of this frame on the global movement’s visionary anti-globalization struggle for alternative futures. Data will be gathered largely through intensive document collection and analysis and research trips to key sites for participant observation and in depth interviews with key informants selected with full attention to the central but still largely unsung role of indigenous and ‘third world’ women. This research will uncover the important but largely unrecognized global women’s human rights campaign of the early 1990s and engage critically with significant movement theory and practice emerging currently.
Closing the Employment Standards Enforcement Gap: Improving Protections for People in Precarious Jobs
Professor Kiran Mirchandani, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Co-applicant on project led by Leah F. Vosko, York University and Mary Gellatly, Parkdale Community Legal Services
SSHRC Partnership Grant subgrant
Employment Standards (ES) set the minimum terms and conditions in areas such as wages, working time, vacations and leaves, and termination and severance of employment and they are the only source of workplace protection for the majority of workers in Ontario. Bringing together community groups at the forefront of ES enforcement efforts and scholars with expertise in ES, this research partnership aims to understand and remedy the ES enforcement gap. The objectives of the project are to: (1) map the nature and scope of ES violations; (2) document enforcement practices in order to identify regulatory challenges; and (3) develop alternative models of enforcement. This research will involve community legal clinics, worker centres, a private law firm, a union, the Ministry of Labour, the Law Commission of Ontario, university research centres, and academic co-investigators and collaborators from six universities as well as international collaborators.
This research explores the lives of English-Canadian actresses who developed careers in Canada, the United States, and Britain. Drawing on a range of sources this project will focus on the lives of women such as Charlotte Morrison Nickinson, Margaret Anglin, Julia Arthur, May Irwin, Margaret Bannerman, and Beatrice Lillie. Taking a biographical perspective, this work explores the multiple ways, onstage and off, in which these women negotiated and, at times, challenged, norms of femininity and those of class, race, and sexuality. This work also explores the opportunities that a theatrical career afforded these women in the late-Victorian, Edwardian, and interwar decades, as other forms of paid labour became available for women, both middle and working-class. My research builds on work in Canadian and international work in transnational history, cultural history and women’s and gender history. I also will be working with the Theatre Museum of Canada to develop an exhibit and website that will highlight these women’s careers.
A Process Evaluation of the Community Youth Court
Professor Michele Peterson-Badali, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
Justice-involved youth are characterized by much higher rates of mental health and substance use problems than the general youth population; youth mental health courts are designed to address this serious issue. The assumption underlying these courts is that youths’ mental health problems are causally connected to their offending and, therefore, that mental health treatment will prevent reoffending. To address the dearth of research on the functioning of these courts, we conducted a process evaluation of Toronto’s first youth mental health court. Strengths of the program included its collaborative court team (judge, crown attorney, and youth mental health court worker), supportive and respectful environment, systematic screening of youths’ mental health needs, and ability to engage youth and families with treatment in a timely manner. It is also noteworthy that this collaborative court functioned without sacrificing critical legal protections (e.g., access to legal counsel, consent, privacy) and principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. However, for most youth, mental health issues were indirectly related to their offences, suggesting that interventions designed to prevent reoffending need to address strong and direct risk factors for offending in addition to mental health needs and that the court needs to systematically screen for these ‘criminogenic’ needs in addition to mental health needs.
Hatch, match, and dispatch: Examining the relationship between student intent, expectations, behaviours and outcomes in six Coursera MOOCs at the University of Toronto
Professor Carol Rolheiser, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
Early reflections on the experience of instructors and students led us to consider the interplay of intent and expectations (corresponding to the “hatch” aspect of the study), behaviour, and outcomes (“dispatch”) more closely. Our primary goal in this research project was to use survey, clickstream, and assessment outcome data from University of Toronto MOOCs offered over a 12 month period to understand how those dimensions interact (the “match” aspect). System data from seven Coursera MOOCs was used in the analysis, as well as learner survey data reflecting their Intentions and expectations, prior knowledge, and demographic information. Our findings showed that based on frequent sequence analysis of clickstream data, students who ultimately receive a certificate of accomplishment in a MOOC show less diverse patterns of behavior than their colleagues who do not receive a certificate of accomplishment.
The State of Entrepreneurship Education in Ontario Postsecondary Education
Professor Creso Sá, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
In Canada and elsewhere there is much policy interest in supporting and facilitating entrepreneurship including through post-secondary education. Interest in entrepreneurship education at Ontario’s universities and colleges has increased in recent years, however, the scale, type, and impacts of existing opportunities in this area are largely unknown. This project will consider how postsecondary institutions have defined “entrepreneurship” in their programming and will then profile entrepreneurship education programs in Ontario, and document the various types and components of each. Another important component of the project is to investigate assessment efforts at different stages of the entrepreneurship programs at colleges and universities, to determine the means by which success is being measured.
Measuring organizational structures and approaches to student support: The relationship with student success
Professor Tricia Seifert, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Association of Registrars of the Universities & Colleges of Canada, Operating grant
Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Early Researcher Award
With a more diverse student body and greater public demand for educated graduates to meet the needs of a changing workplace, understanding the factors associated with student persistence is of growing interest to postsecondary institutions. Most of the retention literature regarding supporting students through completion of their postsecondary education focuses on the relationship between student experiences and student persistence. This body of research focuses, however, almost exclusively on the actions taken by students. Little research has examined the relationship between institutional actions and student persistence. Despite increases in administrative structures to support student success in recent decades, little research has examined staff and faculty awareness about the support structures that exist on their campus or how they perceive their campus’ culture in terms of supporting student persistence. The purpose of the third phase of the Supporting Student Success study is to correlate survey measures of staff and faculty members’ understanding and perception of how their campus supports student success with institutional records of year-to-year persistence and graduation.
New technology supports for community health workers in South Africa: Impacting knowledge and practice
Professor James Slotta, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
SSHRC Insight Development grant
Community health workers (CHW) can play a critical role in improving access to and continuity of HIV and maternal, newborn and child health care and treatment. In South Africa, as in many countries, CHW have long played diverse functions in health care delivery at the household and community level. CHW serve as the primary point of contact for impoverished households and connection to the formal health sector. They must ask and respond to questions, listen to mothers and other caregivers, determine whether there should be clinic referrals, and provide support under challenging circumstances. However, they are typically under prepared and under-resourced, with little knowledge of health science topics or current guidelines regarding best health practices, and no formal training in the art of interviewing caregivers concerning their children’s health and health care. This project will contribute to the design and study of a new mobile health technology support for CHW household visits. We will develop educational media that will promote discourse and learning for both CHW and the households they serve. The SSHRC Insight Development award will fund the study of CHW knowledge, household interactions, and learning of both health concepts and home visit counseling techniques.
CHAT: mHealth innovation for HIV-MNCH community health workers in South Africa
Professor James Slotta, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
University of California, San Francisco, NIH/UCSF Subgrant
In South Africa, an estimated 51,300 children between 1 month and 5 years old die every year. -- the majority (57%) due to HIV. This 3-year study will develop and test an mHealth innovation to support Community health workers (CHW) in their delivery of home-based HIV and maternal and child health and nutritional (MCHN) education, support, and referral in a high HIV prevalence community in KwaZulu Natal, SA. Community Health Worker Assistive Technologies (CHAT) will be developed on a handheld platform (i.e., a multi-function tablet computer) and will leverage available, low-cost devices and open source software. CHAT will provide CHW with sustained, integrated support including protocol training, powerful handheld technologies and accessible, media enhanced resources (e.g., health education videos and animations) that will promote interactive discussions with clients. We will conduct a small community randomized controlled trial (C-RCT) to investigate the impact of CHAT on 1) CHW quality of care as well as knowledge about HIV, nutrition, danger signs of childhood illness, and child development; 2) health care utilization of caregivers for children, and child-care-related behaviors (e.g., immunizations, hygiene practices); and 3) the preliminary impact of CHAT on child health including growth, disease, and development for HIV-affected children age 0 to 59 months old. We will also assess the acceptability and feasibility of CHAT, conducting health and developmental assessments at children’s homes, and translate lessons learned in the development study into the design of a large C-RCT.
My ongoing research is focused on the pedagogical implications of performance-based contemporary art practices and the implications of performance art for communities and youth. A Public Outreach grant enabled me to promote and disseminate research from two multidisciplinary and inter-related research studies that have at their core a focus on performance art and public pedagogy. “Publics and Performance Art” is a community-university alliance that mobilized a series of dissemination activities using the arts as a form of knowledge mobilization, in order to broaden access to scholarship and to foster ongoing debates, discussions, and future actions related to performance art. Furthermore, scholarship on performance art has often struggled with documentation given its live, ephemeral, and time-based practice. Thus, the dissemination activities focused on presenting the work through discursive events and/or art exhibitions and festivals. Three public events comprised this community outreach, including a three-day symposium and performances of “The Torontonians”, a youth arts collective with whom I worked.
Assessing and Supporting Children’s Oral Language and Writing Development Through Play in K-1 Classrooms, Aboriginal Head Start Programs, Daycares, and at Home in Northern Rural Communities
Professor Shelley Stagg Peterson, Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
SSHRC Partnership grant
The research project aims to enhance young children's literacy achievement, and to strengthen and sustain research and teaching capacity in northern Canadian communities. The international academic team, including leading researchers in the fields of oral language and writing development, Aboriginal education, assessment, family literacy, and early childhood education, will be working with community partners spanning the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. Taking a community-based inquiry approach involving collaborative construction and dissemination of knowledge, this partnership program will have far-reaching implications for educational theory, practice and policy. It will have valuable practical and theoretical outcomes, including an innovative play-based assessment and instructional framework and a professional development model appropriate for educators and caregivers in northern rural communities.
A multi-stage project to case and review best practices in the prevention of adult falls in everyday activities
Professor Richard Volpe, Department of Applied Psychology & Human Development
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, Operating grant
Falls are one of the most serious health problems across the life span. Although falls substantially impact all age groups, children and older adults are most vulnerable to the consequences of falling. For this reason, falls prevention research tends to focus on these life stages, with less attention on young and middle-aged adults (25-64). The small amount of falls research that currently exists typically examines falls-related injuries in the workplace and in competitive sports. Little consideration has been given to falls in young and middle-aged adults who are going about their everyday activities. This new project will fill the knowledge gap pertaining to the circumstances in which falls in adults occur and how these falls are different, similar to, or a predictor of falls in older adults (65+). Knowledge gained will be instrumental in thinking upstream in terms of preventing falls in older adults as well improving the health, environment and other conditions necessary to influence safety later in life.