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Doctor of Education in Child Study and Education (commencing Fall 2020)

educator on a laptop in a classroom setting

Program Length 4 years  full-time Career Path

For future leaders in child study areas 

Program Requirements

8 half-courses (4.0 FCE), plus
Thesis (Dissertation in Practice)

Program Highlight All seminar based courses Scheduling Options and Mode of Delivery Online, flex and on-site courses
The EdD in Child Study and Education is a cohort based program designed for professionals working in education or related fields looking to enrich their practice and advance their careers. This program offers students the opportunity to extend and expand their knowledge and expertise in two major and interrelated domains: (1) Special Education (e.g., policy, perspectives, contexts and pedagogy); and (2) Security, Child and Youth Wellbeing (child and teacher mental health, resilience, learning environments, prevention and intervention and equity). Through applying a child study lens to the study of these domains, students will be empowered to become change agents in education and bring about systematic change in organizations and communities.

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is only available on a full-time basis and will enroll its first cohort in September 2020. Applications will open Fall 2019, however no offers of admission will be made to the program pending final approval by the Ministry of Training, College and Universities.

Program Chair: Rhonda Martinussen

Core Faculty:  
Richard Volpe, Rhonda Martinussen, Jody Chong, Anne Claude Bedard, Angela PyleEunice JangClare KosnikSteven Katz

Program Length: 
4 years full-time (program can be completed in under four years)

Time Limit:
6 years full-time

Program Highlights

  • Cohort model: Students move through the program together as a cohort. This provides students with a supportive peer learning environment and enhanced networking opportunities.

  • Blended delivery mode: With the combination in-class, online and flexible courses (combination of online and in-person), working professionals will be able to work and study at the same time.

  • Nursery to grade 6 laboratory school: The program’s location at OISE's Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study and its onsite laboratory school, will allow students to engage in learning and research about child development with members of the school community.

  • Thesis (Dissertation in Practice): This culminating component of the program differs from a traditional doctoral thesis in that it focuses on identifying solutions to problems of practice drawing on theory, research and practitioner knowledge. Students will be required to frame the problem of practice, investigate it using multiple data sources including existing research and policy and create a proposed plan for action to address the problem of practice.

  • Areas of emphases: In the second year of the program, students will complete two half-courses in one of three emphasis: 1) ​Early Years and Early Learning, 2) Special Education; and 3) Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Program Requirements

1. Coursework: Students must complete 8-half courses (4.0 full-course equivalents-FCEs):

  • Issues in Child Study and Education: Research, Policy, and Problems of Practice (APD3301H, 0.5 FCE)

  • Advanced Study of Critical Issues in Special Education, Mental Health and Security (APD3302H, 0.5 FCE)

  • Advanced Study of Tools and Research Methods for Investigating Problems of Practice: Data-driven Research for Decision-Making (APD3303H, 0.5 FCE)

  • Research Proposal Development (0.5 FCE)

  • Two half-courses (1.0 FCE) from one of the three areas of Emphases*

  • Research Methods course (select from the list of available research methods courses) (0.5 FCE)

  • Decision-Making and Systems Change Theory (APD3304H, 0.5 FCE)

*After students complete: APD3302H Advanced Study of Critical Issues in Special Education, Mental Health and Security, students will then be able to select an area of Emphasis that complements their identified problem of practice: 

  • Early Learning and Early Years: (eg. social emotional wellbeing in the early years)

  • Special Education: (eg. supporting advocacy and self-determination in adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders)

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: (eg. tracking the connection between physical activity and wellbeing in adolescents)​

2. Thesis (Dissertation in Practice)

The thesis (Dissertation in Practice) shall include an identification and investigation of a problem of practice, the application of theory and research to problems of practice and/or policy and a design for implementation of ideas arising. Specifically, the thesis (Dissertation in Practice) consists of original research in the form of a written proposal or plan for innovative and impactful educational policy, guideline, advocacy, development project, or activism within an education related field, aimed at improving practice at local, regional, national, or international levels.

Students are required to maintain continuous full-time registration and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis (Dissertation in Practice), are completed.

Areas of Emphases

Students are required to complete 2 half-courses (1.0 FCE) in one of three area of emphases: 1) Early Years and Early Learning, 2) Special Education; and 3) Mental Health and Wellbeing.

These areas of emphases are designed to help students gain a deeper understanding and expertise in special education, and security, child and youth wellbeing.




Psychological Foundations of Early Development and Education (0.5 FCE)


Development and Learning (0.5 FCE)


Social-Emotional Development and Applications (0.5 FCE)


Family Relationships with Early Childhood Services and Schools (0.5 FCE)


Children's Theory of Mind (0.5 FCE)


Play and Education (0.5 FCE)


Symbolic Development and Learning (0.5 FCE)


Foundations of Literacy Development for School Age Children (0.5 FCE)


Language Acquisition and Development in Early Childhood (0.5 FCE)


Research Early Learning: An Overview of Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology (0.5 FCE)


Early Learning Practice, Research & Policy (0.5 FCE)



Biological and Psychological Foundations of Low Incidence Disorders (0.5 FCE)         


Perspectives on Executive Functions in Education: From Theory to Practice (0.5 FCE)


Psychology and Education of Children and Adolescents with Behaviour Disorders (0.5 FCE)


Psychology and Education of Children and Adolescents with Learning Disabilities (0.5 FCE)


Assessing School-Aged Language Learners (0.5 FCE)


Technology for Adaptive Instruction and Special Education (0.5 FCE)


Reading and Writing Difficulties (0.5 FCE)



Child Abuse: Intervention and Prevention (0.5 FCE)


Preventative Interventions for Children at Risk (0.5 FCE)


Adolescent Mental Health: An Examination of Risk and Resilience (0.5 FCE)


Mental Health in the Classroom: How Educators Can Help Our Most Vulnerable Students (0.5 FCE)


Cross-cultural Perspectives on Children's Problems (0.5 FCE)


Developmental Trajectories and High Risk Environments (0.5 FCE)


Assessment and Intervention with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children, 
Youth and Families 
(0.5 FCE)


Developmental Psychopathology (0.5 FCE)

*Students must take two courses in ONE area of emphasis.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies as well as the following admission requirements of the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development.

  • Master's Degree

​​Applicants must hold a master’s degree in child study and education, a master of education degree or a master of arts degree in education or psychology from a recognized university, with high academic standing equivalent to a B+ or better. Applicants with master’s degrees in other disciplines may be eligible to apply for admission, but may have to complete additional courses in Developmental Psychology and/or Child Study.

  • Work Experience

Applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in an education-related field within a school or community setting.


Required supporting documents:

  • Letter of Intent 

​Applicants must submit a letter of intent that highlights their research interests, provides some insight into the problem of practice they wish to address, and describes their professional experiences and how these relate to their research interests and proposed problem of practice.

  • Letter of reference from employer 

​Applicants must submit a letter from their employer supporting the applicant’s goals and ability to conduct their applied research within a school or community setting.​

  • Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) or Major Research Paper (MRP)

​Applicants who hold a non-thesis master's degree, such as a Master of Education, must submit evidence of their ability to identify a research question or problem, to design and conduct a research study or project, and to report the findings or results in a rigorous manner. Applicants may submit a qualifying research paper (QRP) or major research paper (MRP). Applicants who do not have a QRP or MRP must provide a writing sample that highlights their ability to write clearly and analytically about issues in education and/or child study. Examples include a single authored master’s-level course paper, a policy document or a professional publication. 

How to Apply

Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are not open yet.

The start date for this program is September 2020.

Applications for Fall 2020 are expected to open soon, however no offers of admission will be made to the program pending final approval by the Ministry of Training, College and Universities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for Applicants