Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre

The above portrait is of Nicholas Laidlaw painted by renowned Canadian artist Joyce Wieland, c. 1987. The original oil on canvas is in the private collection of The Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto, Canada. A reproduction of the painting was installed in the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre as a tribute to Nick Laidlaw in celebration of the Centre’s 20th Anniversary, April 2, 2012. We thank The Laidlaw Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, Copyright Division, for making this possible.

The Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre provides the home for faculty research and outreach at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

Our centre’s mandate is to support applied multidisciplinary research in child development and foster research connections around particular child study themes. As an integral unit of the Institute’s tri-partite mission, we advance collaborations among faculty, the graduate students who are pursuing combined research and professional training in our MA in Child Study and Education program, the Laboratory School teacher-researchers, academic colleagues at OISE and across the university, as well as with our many community partners and sponsoring organizations.

The establishment of the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre for research, dedicated on April 2, 1992, is a tribute to the leadership and work of Dr. Nicholas Laidlaw, who devoted his professional life as a psychologist, lecturer and researcher to the Institute of Child Study. A generous endowment from the Laidlaw Foundation ensures that resources and infrastructure are available at the Institute to continue a tradition of research scholarship aimed at understanding child development—to benefit current and future generations of children and families, here and around the world.


Research Themes

Research activity in the Laidlaw Centre covers a broad range of topics with the over-arching theme of how research and knowledge move into practice—or in some cases, how research knowledge develops in practice through action and/or design research. 

Our faculty and student researchers are currently engaged in the following themes of inquiry: 

Educational Practices


  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Special Education
  • Knowledge Building through Technology
  • Innovation in Teacher Education (including Japanese Lesson Study)
Family and Community Systems


  • Full Day Early Learning
  • Parent Involvement and Child Care
  • Integrated Services for Families
  • Community Programing and Prevention across the Life Span
Learning Processes and Cognition


  • Language, Narrative, and Social Understanding
  • Honesty and Lying
  • Developing Vocabulary
  • Theory of Mind

Recent Publications


Patricia Ganea


Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Research Centre