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World acclaimed lab school opens "new" doors

January 26, 2018


Left to right: JICS Principal Richard Messina, The Hon. Margaret McCain, U of T Chancellor The Hon. Michael Wilson, U of T Governing Council Chair Claire Kennedy, Mrs. Sara Jackman, Dr. Eric Jackman, U of T President Meric Gertler, OISE Dean Glen Jones, and JICS Director Clare Kosnik at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) on January 26, 2018.


On January 26, with the participation of over 400 guests, the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS), a world-acclaimed pre-school to 6th grade laboratory school, officially opened its renovated and expanded facility.

Under the auspice of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, the Jackman Institute is well known for hosting unparalleled collaborations in service of education excellence. As a pre-eminent ‘thought leader’ of pedagogical research and early learning, JICS was given the 2016 Outstanding Laboratory School Award.

“The Jackman ICS lab school is known for its innovative and integrated approach to applying the latest research evidence to ensuring leading-edge teaching and learning,” said Richard Messina, Principal at the Jackman Institute. “Partnerships among and between students, teachers, parents, professors and diverse community partners are among the keys to its success.”

View photos from the opening ceremony 

JICS Director, Clare Kosnik also emphasized that “our shared space supports collaboration, mutual learning, and bridging research and practice. This interplay among and between our programs opens up possibilities for learning, growth, and fun.”   

University of Toronto President Meric Gertler provided important historical context: “Though the Jackman Institute’s approach to education has significantly changed since Dr. William Blatz founded the Institute in 1925, its core values remain intact. This includes the belief that children are not mere bystanders when it comes to their education, but inquisitive, thoughtful leaders in their own right, and that the key to building a better society is a universal commitment to the study and research of early learning.”

OISE Dean Glen Jones noted that “the design of this fabulous new space is far more than beautiful to behold. As you tour the site you will see that the environment reinforces creative student problem-solving. It is a building for community-building.”

“As well, none of this would be possible without the incredible generosity of Dr. Eric and Sara Jackman (Dr. Eric Jackman donated $5 million) and the Hon. Margaret McCain (Hon. Margaret and Wallace McCain announced a $3 million donation to the Jackman Institute), true champions of foundational learning,” Jones added.

“Sara and I are so pleased to support this remarkable place. ICS is devoted to the understanding of early child development, and to enlightening educators and parents alike to the very best child-rearing and educational practices. Healthy, happy, educated children become confident, productive adults. What ICS does is so important for the children, their families and society,” said Dr. Jackman. 

Hon. Margaret McCain, who co-authored three seminal reports on the critical importance of the early years with the late Dr. Fraser Mustard, added, “The collaborative research at JICS that involves students, teachers and scholars will continue to add so much to impacting on better programming and policies across Canada and beyond.”

“This school has not only provides an essential place of learning and experience for prospective teachers; it has furthered our understanding of child development, lifting schools here in Toronto and across Canada, “ said University Chancellor, Michael Wilson.