Lauren McNamara, Ph.D.

Faculty of Social Sciences - Child and Youth Studies




Lauren McNamara, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
CRN - 329
lmcnamara@brocku.ca

Dr. McNamara holds a PhD in the Psychology of Education from Simon Fraser University and an MA in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. After years of exploring the role of cognition, learning, motivation, and technology, she has turned her attention to recess - specifically, the cumulative impact daily recess has on children's developmental health trajectories and academic success.

She is the founder and director of The Recess Project, a collaborative among various departments at Brock University, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation, YMCA of Niagara, and the District School Board of Niagara. The goal of the project is to support children's learning by transforming recess into opportunities for inclusion, physical activity, and positive socialization skills.

Some of our current teamwork involves exploring the following topics:

Recess and vulnerable children
Recess and mental health
Recess and school culture
Play, recess, rights of children
Canada wide report on recess
Recess around the world
Recess and children's social development
Recess and population health
Recess and school engagement

Such multifaceted research allows room for student research and volunteers from many academic departments. Please contact Dr. McNamara if you are interested in being a part of this innovative project.

Click here to read more:

New York Times journalist Annie Murray Paul reports on The Recess Project

Tales from the playground: Transforming the context of recess through collaborative action reserach. In press with the International Journal of Play (link coming soon)

Toronto Star Education Reporter Louise Brown on the Recess Project

McNamara,L. (2013). What's getting in the way of play? Contextual factors that hinder recess in elementary schools. Canadian Journal of Action Research, 12(2).

Toronto Star journalist Catherine Porter reports on The Recess Project.

The Brock News reporter Tiffany Mayer reports on The Recess Project.

View our training manual for recess coordinators (iteration #3 coming in June 2014)

View our templates

View our games and activities guide