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Research Theme: Educational Practices


Many of our faculty explore different avenues towards improving educational outcomes for our youngest citizens. Literacy, numeracy, and special education are high priority areas with ongoing research projects at the Laidlaw Centre. And as technology takes on greater importance in today's classrooms, our researchers are looking at how new equipment and teaching methods add to children’s learning. Lesson Study—an approach that engages educators in systematically examining their teaching practices—also takes place at the Institute as faculty, teacher-researchers, and MA students in our professional teacher education program look to ways of improving their teaching expertise.



  • Rhonda Martinussen: Promoting knowledge of early literacy instruction in initial teacher education: a focus on phonemic awareness. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
  • Janette Pelletier: Lasting effects of family literacy programs in early childhood. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Kids doing math


  • Joan Moss: Mathematics for Young Children (M4YC). Partnership with the Robertson Foundation, Trent University. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Special Education

  • Rhonda Martinussen: Promoting listening and reading comprehension in students with attention deficit hyperactivity. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Knowledge Building through Techology

  • Janette Pelletier, Elizabeth Morley & Richard Messina: Fostering collective progress in online discourse for sustaining knowledge building. Subgrant with State University of New York – Albany. In collaboration with Elizabeth Morley and the Laboratory School. Funded by the National Science Foundation (US)
  • Janette Pelletier: Examining the effects of computerized learning on young children. Funded by the Council of Ontario Directors of Education.

Innovations in Teacher Education

  • Dale Willows: Helping teachers help children: Improving literacy education through web-based professional development. Funded by the Melissa Foundation
  • Dale Willows: Literacy Education Professional Development. Funded by the Maimonides Educational Foundation.
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