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Janette Pelletier

Janette Pelletier
Professor Emerita

phone: (416) 934-4506

Applied Psychology and Human Development

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

Research Overview

Dr. Pelletier's research interests are in the area of early child development and education. She is carrying out a longitudinal study on the impact of of full-day kindergarten on parents, on children and on staff teams. This work builds on her earlier research on integrated early childhood services in the Toronto First Duty project. A related research area is the role of parent involvement and family literacy in children's learning in kindergarten and primary classes. Specific research in cognitive development concerns young children's developing theory of mind and their growing awareness of print communication through writing and drawing. Graduate students working with Dr. Pelletier are engaged in coding children's drawings as they move from junior kindergarten to Grade 6, examining themes, human figures and complexity. Other students are writing about relationships among educator teams, children, parents and communities. Data provide opportunity for students to consider predictors of later school performance based on demographic factors, language status, early challenges and kindergarten program type.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Pelletier teaches graduate courses in the MA program in Child Study and Education, geared to professional preparation of educators. She also teaches M.A., M.Ed. and PhD courses in Developmental Psychology and Education, geared to understanding early child development and applications to learning. Her specialty course is:
APD1211: Psychological Foundations of Early Development and Education. An online section of this course is offered during the summer session in July/August.

Representative Publications

Pelletier, J., & Corter, J. (2019): A longitudinal comparison of learning outcomes in full-day and half-day kindergarten. The Journal of Educational Research. DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2018.1486280

Stover, K., & Pelletier, J. (2018). Does full-day kindergarten reduce parenting daily hassles? The Canadian Journal of Education, 41(1), 276-300.

Pelletier, J. (2016). Using children’s drawings to understand children’s experiences in the context of a new kindergarten policy in Ontario, Canada. In S. Dockett & A. MacDonald (Eds.), Just do good research: A commentary on the work and influence of Bob Perry (pp. 48-67). Albury, Au: Peridot Education

Patel, S., Corter, C., Pelletier, J. & Bertrand, J. (2016). ‘Dose-response’ relations between participation in integrated early childhood services and children’s early development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 35, 49–62.

Heagle, K., Timmons, K., Hargreaves, F., & Pelletier, J. (2016). The social kindergartener: Comparing children's perspectives of full- and half-day kindergarten. Early Child Development and Care, 1-12.

Timmons, K., & Pelletier, J. (2016). Using latent-class analysis to examine the influence of kindergarten children's perspectives of school on literacy and self-regulation outcomes. Early Child Development and Care, 1-15.

Pelletier, J., & Beatty, R. (2015). Theory of mind in education: Children’s understanding of Aesop’s fables. Frontiers in Psychology, Special Issue on Cognitive Science, 6(1448).

Timmons, K., Pelletier, J., & Corter, C. (2015). Understanding children’s self-regulation within different classroom contexts. Early Child Development and Care, 186(2), 249-267.

Pelletier, J. (2014). Ontario’s full-day kindergarten: A bold public policy initiative. Public Sector Digest, June Issue: Education, 41-49.

Timmons, K., & Pelletier, J. (2014). Understanding the importance of parent learning in a school based family literacy program.  The Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 15(4), 510-532.

Pelletier, J., Hipfner-Boucher, K., & Doyle, A. (2014). The use of metacognitive language in story retelling: The intersection between theory of mind and story comprehension.  In A. Antonietti, E. Confalonieri & A. Marchetti (Eds.), Reflective Thinking in Educational Settings. A Cultural Framework (pp. 137-169). NY: Cambridge University Press.

Pelletier, J., Rothschild, N., & Simons, K. (2014). Measurement of theory of mind in early childhood and implications for education. In O. Saracho (Ed.), Contemporary Perspectives in Early Childhood Education (pp. 11-145). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishers.

Pelletier, J. (2012). New directions in integrated early childhood services in school-as-hub models: Lessons from Toronto First Duty and Peel Best Start. In N. Howe and L. Prochner (Eds.), New Directions in Early Childhood Care and Education in Canada (pp. 367-396). Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.

Zhang, J., & Pelletier, J. (2012) (Eds.).  Frontiers of Education in China, Special Issue on International Perspectives in Early Childhood Education. Beijing, China: Higher Education Press.

Hong, G., Corter, C., Hong, Y., & Pelletier, J. (2012). Differential effects of homogeneous grouping and literacy instruction time in kindergarten classrooms: Who will benefit? Who will suffer? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(1), 69-88.

Pelletier, J. (2011). Language and literacy development in early childhood classrooms.  Ontario Literacy Numeracy Secretariat: What Works? Toronto, ON: LNS 

Pelletier, J. (2011). School-based family literacy intervention programs.  Research for Teachers.  Toronto, ON: Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario.

Harper, S., Platt, A., & Pelletier, J. (2011). Unique effects of a family literacy program on the early reading development of English Language Learners. Early Education and Development, 22(6), 989-1008.

Pelletier, J., Morley, E., & Messina, R. (2011).  “We all belong”: Early-years’ literacy development and social inclusion.  In C. Rolheiser, M.Evans & M. Gambhir (Eds.), Inquiry into Practice: Reaching every student through inclusive curriculum (pp. 38-48).  Toronto, ON: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Harper, S. & Pelletier, J. (2010). Parent involvement in early childhood: a comparison of English language learners and English first language families.  International Journal of Early Years Education, 18(2), 123-141.

Pelletier, J., Doyle, A., & Hipfner-Boucher, K. (2010). Family Literacy in Action: A Guide for Literacy Program Facilitators. Toronto, ON: Scholastic Education.

Zhang, J. & Pelletier, J. (2009). Assessing kindergarten children’s conceptions of print in China and Canada: A cross-cultural comparison. Hong Kong Journal of EducationSpecial Issue on Learning and Assessment in Early Childhood, 8(1), 6-13.

Pelletier, J. (2008). The role of parents, families and caregivers in young children's literacy development: A review of programs and research. Peer-reviewed policy paper. London, ON: The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network. Available online
Harper, S. & Pelletier, J (2008). Investigating gender and language issues in Early II: Group differences in children's ability to infer meaning. The Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26(2), 185-194.
Corter, C., Patel, S., Pelletier, J., & Bertrand, J. (2008). The Early Development Instrument as an evaluation and improvement tool for school-based, integrated services for young children and parents: the Toronto First Duty Project. Early Education and Development.19(5), 1-22.
Patel, S., Corter, C., & Pelletier, J. (2008). What do Families Want? Understanding their goals for early childhood services. In M. Cornish (Ed.) Promising Practices for Partnering with Families In the Early Years (pp. 103-135).  Information Age Publishing.
Research Grants and Contracts

2016-2021. SSHRC Insight Grant. Education, psychosocial outcomes, and cost savings 20 years after early childhood intervention for 4 to 8 year olds. Loomis, C. (PI), Pelletier, J. (Co-PI) & Christens, B. (Collaborator) (311,998)

2015-2020. SSHRC Insight Grant. Full-day kindergarten: Longitudinal effects on children's educational success and well-being. Pelletier, J. (PI) & Patel, S. ($218,335.00)

2015-2016. SSHRC Connections Grant. Reducing inequities in children's educational success and well-being: the role of the built environment. Patel, S. (PI), OCampo, P. (Co-PI), & Pelletier, J. (Co-PI) ($24,997).

2013-2020. SSHRC Partnership Grant. Pedagogy and assessment for ELL and Aboriginal childrens early literacy and oral language development through play in Kindergarten classrooms. Stagg Peterson, S. (PI), Jang, E. (Co-PI), & Pelletier, J. (Co-PI) ($ 2,828,240).

2012-2013. SSHRC Partnership Proposal Development Grant. Pedagogy and assessment for ELL and Aboriginal childrens early literacy and oral language development through play in Kindergarten classrooms. Stagg Peterson, S., Jang, E., & Pelletier, J. ($20,000).

2012-2014. University of Toronto Provosts Instructional Technology Innovations Fund. Willows, D., Pelletier, J. & Martinussen, R. Dedicated hypermedia website for preservice early years teacher preparation ($30,000).

2012-2014. Region of Peel. Extension of Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten study. J. Pelletier ($9,895)

2011-2012. TVOntario. Evaluating the training effects of TVO Kids working memory computer games: A controlled, randomized study with children aged 6-9. Pelletier, J. & Hawes, Z. ($32,153)

2011-2014. SSHRC Standard Research Grant. Lasting effects of family literacy programs in early childhood. Pelletier, J. (PI) (103,285).

2010-2013. Region of Peel. Full-day early learning/kindergarten in Peel: A longitudinal comparison of full-day, half-day and Best Start sites. Pelletier, J. (PI) ($184,004)

2010-2014. SSHRC Standard Grant. Effects of emergent literacy programs. Girolametto, L., Weitzman, E., Pelletier, J. (Co-Applicant), & Greenberg, J., ($106,906)

2009-2011. TVOntario. Design and implementation of a TVO Family Literacy intervention for school readiness. J. Pelletier (PI), ($26,160 + $15,000 + $7,500 extension = $48,660)

2009-2013. SSHRC Standard Grant. Redesigning early childhood services through integrated service hubs in schools: Outcomes and scaling up of the Toronto First Duty model. Corter, C (PI), Pelletier, J. (Co-PI) ($86,243)

Honours and Awards

Selected Honours and Awards

2009 Teaching Award: David E. Hunt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

2006 Research Award: Canadian Language and Literacy Research Networks President Medal

2005 Teaching Award: Outstanding Graduate Supervision, Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, OISE/UT

Featured researcher: University of Toronto, Innovation Ignited: How U of T is Transforming research for entrepreneurship and prosperity. Innovating Education. Editors: Paul Young & Derek Newton (2014).

Featured researcher: University of Toronto Edge Magazine, Issue on The Brain: How Children Learn (January/February 2013)

Featured Science of Early Child Development: Expert (video teaching series)

Professional Activities

2010-2013: Director, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE/UT

2005-2006: Program Chair, Developmental Psychology and Education, OISE/UT

2000-2001: Program Chair, Child Study and Education, OISE/UT