Lauren McNamara, Ph.D.
Faculty of Social Sciences - Child and Youth Studies
Lauren McNamara, Ph.D.
CRN - 329
Phone (905) 688-5550, ext. 4548
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 impact recess has on school engagement and academic success.
She is the founder and director of the Niagara Recess Project, a collaborative among various departments at Brock University, United Way St. Catharines & District, 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.
The research related to the Niagara Recess Project involves a transdisciplinary analysis of the following interactive factors:
Social and emotional skills: the acquisition of skills such as goal-setting, perspective-taking, interpersonal problem solving, conflict resolution, and decision-making.
Attitudes towards self and others: attitudes about the self (self perceptions, self-efficacy), school climate (attitudes towards schoolwork, school, and teachers), and social (beliefs about violence, helping others).
Positive social behaviors: daily behavior as rated by students, teachers, and administrators.
Conduct problems: reports of different types of behavioral issues such as aggression, bullying, noncompliance, disruptive acts, suspensions, and delinquent activities.
Academic Performance: school grades, classroom grades, and grades in specific subjects.
Attendance and engagement: daily school and classroom attendance, daily involvement in school activities, and daily involvement in recess activities.
Physical Activity: the number of children involved in each specific activity and the daily participation.
Safety-related accidents. the number of children involved in accidents on the playground at recess.
Design and evaluation of activities.
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.
Dr. Lauren McNamara