Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

Doctor of Education in Child Study and Education approved, first cohort to be enrolled this September

April 29, 2020

By Perry King and Biljana Cuckovic


The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education has announced that the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Child Study and Education received formal approval from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Developed in the 2018-2019 school year and approved on April 22, the new EdD received approval by OISE Council and University Governance in the summer of 2019. Ministry approval represents the final level of approval for this new program, says Dean Glen Jones.

OISE is the only faculty at the University of Toronto that offers the education doctorate, a research-intensive, practice-oriented degree. The program is expected to enrol its first cohort in September 2020.

Learn more about the program

“I want to congratulate the department of applied psychology and human development on creating this rigorous and innovative doctorate program to address an important need in the field – that will demonstrate OISE’s continuing leadership in linking our tremendous research strengths to issues of educational practice,” said Dean Jones. “Congratulations to all those who worked to bring us to this final step in the creation of this program.”

Designed for practising professionals

The EdD in child study and education is designed for professionals in an education-related field – including teachers, early childhood educators, speech and language pathologists, community-based educators and administrators – who are looking to enrich their education and improve their practice.

Through an advanced study of special education, child and youth wellbeing, and security, with a child study lens, the program will empower professionals to become change agents in education, to improve practice and bring about systemic change in organizations and communities. Each of OISE’s EdD programs, including the new EdD in child study and education, culminates in a new requirement called dissertation in practice ­– which differs from the traditional doctoral thesis as it focuses on identifying solutions to problems of practice.

“The program’s major strength is its ability to weave students’ current professional experience and interests into the program, which will help them address the challenges they encounter in their professional roles,” said Rhonda Martinussen, Director of the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

Earl Woodruff, Chair of the department of applied psychology and human development, added, “We’re excited to offer a program that is designed for practising professionals eager to assume leadership roles. Specifically, our new doctorate of education in child study and education program will provide students with the tools they need to advance practice in the field."

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.

Unique cohort model

In addition to the cohort model – that will provide a sense of community and enhanced access to student support – the program’s location at the Jackman Institute and its onsite laboratory school will allow students to engage in learning and research about child development with members of the community.

For those who are encountering financial barriers to study, there are supports in place at OISE to help students in need. The Friedrich Froebel Early Childhood Education Scholarship will support students conducting research in early childhood education methods.  

More OISE news

OISE announces new Doctor of Education program in child study and education

New scholarship will support research in early childhood education

In social isolation, there are ways to support children’s learning at home