Cutting Edge Research

The Laidlaw Forum and the Laidlaw Student Research Seminar Series

The Laidlaw Research Centre currently facilitates two research activities: a peer reviewed publication called Emerging Ideas in Child Study and Education and a seminar series in which PhD students present their research.

September 2021-2022 marked the launch of a new peer reviewed research publication, managed and edited by the Laidlaw Research Centre and its associated faculty: Emerging Ideas in Child Study and Education. The Forum aims to facilitate the peer review, publication and dissemination of exceptional student coursework from across the MA in Child Study and Education, MEd, and Doctor of Education programs in the department of Applied Psychology and Human Development. The topics addressed relate to a variety of challenges in applied education, child study and psychology. Working in tandem with the Jackman Institute of Child Study, the academic faculty responsible for overseeing student teaching placements, and the academic faculty, the Forum will feature a broad range of exceptional lesson plans, essays, and practical projects.

Each year, Laidlaw hosts a monthly seminar in which PhD students present their program of research. These seminars are sometimes used to help an early-stage student develop and refine their plans, and sometimes used to provide late-stage feedback to a student who is nearing completion of their degree. In some cases, and especially when the presenter is nearing completion of their PhD, these seminars are opened to the public and interested stakeholders in a variety of public and private institutions are invited to attend. The Laidlaw Seminar Series is a wonderful community gathering in which scholarly ideas can be shared and discussed among students and faculty from across APHD and beyond.

The Robertson Program

The Robertson Program for Inquiry-based Teaching in Mathematics and Science creates, demonstrates, and disseminates inquiry-based teaching models for mathematics and science by focusing on teacher and student inquiry. 

Our first goal is to help teachers become more reflective practitioners who strive to deepen their own knowledge of mathematics and science. The second goal is to help students cultivate critical thinking skills necessary for success in mathematics and science.

We use an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning because it focuses on questions and ideas. This allows students to deepen their conceptual understanding of mathematics and science concepts. By honouring and building on student knowledge and ideas, inquiry leads to equitable learning for all students.

Natural Curiosity

In 2011, Natural Curiosity embarked on a project to create and disseminate an inquiry-based framework designed to enable classroom educators to meet Ministry expectations for infusing environmental education throughout the curriculum. A four-branch framework for environmental inquiry was introduced, dynamically combining Inquiry-based Learning, Experiential Learning, Integrated Learning, and Stewardship. These theoretical orientations were brought vividly to life over the next eight years, as educators embraced the possibilities offered by this approach, and with their students, continued to find new ways to meaningfully and joyfully engage with the natural world.

In 2018, Natural Curiosity published an update: Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental InquiryIn the second edition, the four branches continue to provide the framework for environmental inquiry, with intriguing and substantive links to the views expressed through a newly expanded Indigenous lens. The Indigenous lens illuminates both marked continuities and evident disjunctions with Natural Curiosity’s approach to environmental inquiry. A humble evolution of the first, Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition signifies the starting point of an important conversation about learning in relationship with Mother Earth.