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OISE Professors awarded Canada Research Chairs

February 10, 2016

OISE scholars Scott Davies and Kang Lee are among the 34 Professors at the University of Toronto who were awarded new Canada Research Chairs.
On February 9, 2016, Minister of Science Kristy Duncan announced 305 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs for 53 post-secondary institutions across the country, a $260 million investment in the CRC program. 
Launched in 2000, the Canada Research Chairs program is the cornerstone of Canada’s new innovation strategy. The goal of all Chairs is to advance the frontiers of knowledge within their fields, not only through their own work, but also by coordinating the efforts of other researchers within their area of expertise.
Scott Davies
Professor Scott Davies has been awarded the Canada Research Chair in Data, Equity and Policy in Education. 
Specialising in the broader area of sociology in education and quantitative methods, Dr. Davies’ research focuses on examining the determinants of educational achievement among at-risk students.
His ultimate aim is to compile data sets that will allow researchers to track students from their early years into post-secondary levels, and to assess the impact of various interventions in reducing educational inequality. He also plans to build a research lab at OISE that will house a wide variety of education data, and will become a major hub for policy-relevant research in the Toronto area.

Kang LeeProfessor Kang Lee has been awarded the Canada Canada Research Chair in Moral Development and Developmental Neuroscience.

He uses experimental methods to investigate how children come to grips with the concept and moral implication of lying, whether children are gullible or they are able to detect others' lies, and whether children can tell convincing lies in various social situations.  He also examines the cognitive-social-cultural factors that affect children's acquisition of conceptual and moral knowledge about lying and their ability to detect/tell lies successfully. In addition, He explore neuro-physiological correlates of lying in children and adults.

Professor Charles Pascal connected with Professors Davies and Lee. 
CP:  First, my heartiest congratulations on your Canada Research Chair appointments. This brings honour to all of us who work and study at OISE.

SD: Thanks very much. Naturally, I am fortunate to be surrounded by great colleagues and students.

KL: Good point, Scott. OISE provides a great environment for our work!

CP: So, on a personal level, what does the CRC mean to you?

KL:  I feel very honoured to be awarded CRC chair and am motivated more than ever to take my research to the next level.

SD: I agree with Kang. This kind of honour reinforces the importance of the kind of research we do.

CP: Can you describe the focus of your CRC research going forward?

SD: I'm really interested in doing longitudinal research, tracking students' progress through the entirety of their educational journeys. I want measure achievement and wellbeing and what keeps students on track or throws them off the track.

CP: Can you briefly explain why you want to measure "well being"?

SD: While measuring traditional achievement outcomes is important, we need to broaden how we see student progress such as creative thinking, health and resilience.

CP: Excellent! Kang, how about you? What will your CRC focus be?

KL: I will focus on the development of lying  in children with severe conduct problems, which is a serious issue that can lead to conduct disorder, criminality,  as well as a host of mental health problems  in adolescence and adulthood. Lying is  one of the two key early  markers of severe conduct problem in childhood. However, our work over the last two decades has also showed that lying is a typical part of child development and most young children lie. It is a mystery as to why some children who lie at young ages develop conduct disorders whereas most children who also lie at young ages develop normally. I hope through the support of the CRC, that I will be able to gain in-depth scientific  understanding of this important  issue.

CP: Interesting!  Finally, what kind of educational practices and/or policies can you imagine your research impacting?

SD: I'm hoping it will help educators pinpoint key periods for interventions and their impacts over time. It's important to parse out which impacts are lasting, versus those that quickly fade.

KL: I hope our research in the next decade will help develop tools to assess children with conduct problems and provide early intervention to help children with conduct problems as well as their parents.

CP: Many thanks for this. Best wishes for your ongoing productivity. And have fun.