A Brock professor has been appointed a principal investigator of the research team that will be assessing the implementation of Ontario’s new full-day kindergarten program.
Mary-Louise Vanderlee, associate professor in the Faculty of Education, and Ray DeV Peters, professor emeritus of Psychology at Queen’s University, will co-lead the investigation.
Their work is part of a contract between the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Social Program Evaluation Group at Queen’s. The nine-member research team will evaluate the new program during its first two years of implementation.
“With the research capabilities this team brings together, we are certain to advance our understanding of the field of early childhood education in this province,” Vanderlee said.
The program evaluation will identify successes and challenges associated with the implementation of full-day kindergarten, then provide feedback to make the transition easier for students, parents, teachers, administrators and communities.
“I am thrilled that Dr. Vanderlee’s work in early childhood education has been recognized in this way, as it typifies the high esteem in which our scholars are held,” said Fiona Blaikie, Dean, Faculty of Education. “Our researchers are making significant contributions to the development of education systems in Ontario and beyond.”
About 35,000 four- and five-year olds in nearly 600 schools across the province are in full-day kindergarten this year.
The program provides a full day of learning five days a week, with a teacher and early childhood educator working together in the classroom. Based on parent demand, integrated before- and after-school programs are available for a fee at some schools. The program is being phased in over five years.