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Charles Pascal

Charles Pascal

phone: (416) 716-7245
email: charles.pascal@utoronto.ca  
website: http://www.charlespascal.com

Applied Psychology and Human Development

Dean's Office

Research Overview

Policy development and systems change in early and higher education; leadership and organizational development.

Academic History

Charles E. Pascal is an internationally recognized educator with expertise in early and higher education, training, policy development, and leadership & organizational development. Charles also has demonstrated expertise and effectiveness in strategic philanthropy. He has published extensively in the fields of psychology and education.

Currently, Charles is Professor of Human Development and Applied Psychology at OISE/University of Toronto where he is coordinator of the PhD. Program in Early Learning. He also teaches in a PhD. program in leadership that he developed for post-secondary and community leaders. Charles is also the Senior Advisor to the Chagnon Foundation in Montreal, special advisor to Australia's Good Start Early Learning organization, a regular contributor to the Toronto Star newspaper and conducts seminars and workshops on lifelong learning, leadership, policy-making and strategic philanthropy.

Teaching Overview

Charles graduated from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in psychology in 1969 and immediately joined the psychology faculty of McGill University in Montreal. While at McGill, he was a founder of The Centre for Learning and Development. He also founded the McGill Community Family Centre, a full-service child-care centre that was the first of its kind in Canadian universities. He also served on numerous community advisory boards and committees dealing with the education of disadvantaged and special-needs children. In addition, Charles headed a team at Montreal Children's Hospital that provided training to help parents support children with disabilities.

Charles moved to Toronto in 1977 to accept a joint position with the University of Toronto,/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) and the Council of Ontario Universities Program for Instructional Development. At OISE, he served as founding chair of the higher education group and in 1981 became the executive head of graduate studies. During this time, he was a member of the Governing council of the University of Toronto. Charles also served on Dr. Bette Stephenson's steering committee for the Secondary Education Review Project.

Honours and Awards

In 1982, Charles became the second president of Sir Sandford Fleming College. During the next six years, he was also a member of the board of Trent University and a member of the Committee for the National Forum on Post-secondary Education. In addition, he became the first non-private-sector chair of the Greater Peterborough Economic Council. In 1987, Premier David Peterson appointed Pascal as Chair of the Ontario Council of Regents, the government's chief policy and planning body for the
colleges of applied arts and technology. Charles also provided leadership for the Vision 2000 process to develop a renewed mandate for the province's college system.

In January 1991, he was appointed Deputy Minister of the Premier's Council on Health, Well-being and Social Justice. Chaired by Premier Bob Rae, the council was a policy body designed to provide advice and research to the government and the public on building a just, healthy, and fairer society. The Council produced a major policy framework for the determinants of health and a policy and program plan for early learning and childcare.

In August 1991, Charles was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Community and Social Services, where he contributed to the government's plans for reforms in welfare, childcare and long-term care, and provided leadership in developing plans for restructuring Ontario's social services. Premier Rae appointed him as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Training in February of 1993. He provided leadership during the integration of three former ministries and two major projects into the new Ministry of Education and Training. In addition, he provided support and leadership for the government's major education reform initiatives through the establishment of the Royal Commission on Learning and responding to its recommendations.

Professional Activities

In late 2007, Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Charles as his Special Advisor on Early Learning. In June 2009, Pascal released his seminal report With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario that is informing policy and practice within and outside of Canada.

A former ballplayer himself, Charles is the assistant baseball coach at the University of Toronto and a Senior Fellow at the University's Massey College.

Other Information

In January 1996, Charles was selected as the first full-time Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation that promotes social and economic justice in the tradition of its founder, Joseph E. Atkinson. He led the Foundation for fifteen years as it emerged as a highly regarded effective agent for change. It was during this time that Charles enabled the Foundation's work on early learning and the development of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.

Charles has extensive experience in the developing world, including China and South Africa, providing capacity building expertise in leadership, policy making and organizational change. The Ontario government appointed Charles Chair of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) for Ontario and he served from 2005 - 2008.

Charles has received honorary diplomas from Niagara, Humber and George Brown colleges and honorary doctorates from Nipissing and Guelph Universities.

He is a recipient of the Yorktown Family Services Humanitarian of the Year award (2003). Charles is also a Fellow of the Ontario Teachers' Federation, was the 2008 recipient of People for Education's Egerton Ryerson Award in recognition of his dedication to public education, and the recipient of the 2009 "Excellence in Advocacy" award from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare. Charles has also been named an "honorary" elementary school principal by the Ontario Principals Council (2009).