Welcome to the 2023 Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) Symposium.
The Symposium celebrates the final thesis projects of BECE students by sharing their research with the early childhood education community. Explore the themes below to learn more about a range of topics of interest to early childhood educators.
Current Issues in the field
“COVID-19 mental health impact on young children: an examination of the long-term effects lockdown has had on children”
My name is Amanda Raposo and I am a 4th year BECE graduating student at Brock University. I am a desiring future primary school teacher, excited to be able to positively influence the lives of young students.
I enjoy creating and developing strong connections with children and finding new ways to be educationally active and outdoors whenever possible.
- How the pandemic is changing the way we teach our Youth Ready curriculum
This resource speaks on the failures and success since the pandemic and how they have adjusted
their initiative to ensure a smooth transition to online learning.
- How Covid-19 pandemic has impacted children’s mental and physical health
This resource found heightened levels of depression and anxiety among children and youth is
one of many new preliminary findings from the ongoing COVID-19 mental health study led by
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
- Kids Mental Health Resources by Children’s Mental Health Ontario
This resource provides hands-on advice and knowledge on how to help and support children
from an educational perspective as well as professional and parental.
“The misrepresentations of ECEs through two lenses”
Brittany Calcao and Jennifer Aguiar
Brittany Calcao is a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Honours) student at Brock University. Brittany is working towards her dream of becoming an Ontario Certified Teacher following the completion of this program. In her free time you can find Brittany spending time with family and friends, going on walks and enjoying time with her pets. In the future Brittany hopes to travel the world and enjoy all it has to offer.
Jennifer Aguiar is a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student at Brock University. Jennifer has been a RECE for many years and is currently working towards becoming an Ontario Certified Teacher. She is hoping to use her knowledge of child development to foster students learning as they progress through their educational journey. When not busy with work and her studies, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and travelling to sunny destinations.
- Why training more child-care workers isn’t enough to solve the staffing crisis | CBC News
- Why a shortage of workers threatens $10/day child care | CBC News
- Government officials estimate Ontario could be short 8,500 early childhood educators | CBC News
- The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership by John C. Maxwell (book)
“The impact of COVID-19 on early intervention service”
Hailey Wilson is a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program at Brock University. She has conducted a thesis that researches the topic of The Impact of COVID-19 on Early Intervention Services. Advocacy, mental health and early intervention are areas she is drawn to and feels passionate about.
She hopes to pursue a role where she can collaborate with families, assess their needs, and ensure they are connected to the appropriate resources
- Supporting Language and Literacy Skills from 12–24 Months
This resource is for families that offer Early language and literacy skill development through practical strategies.
- Developmental Assessment Fact Sheet
This fact sheet is available for families to reference if they have concerns about their child’s development.
- Healthy Babies Healthy Children program
An Ontario webpage with resources for expectant mothers, additional support to ensure a growing baby’s healthy development, and guidance on establishing a strong attachment.
- Early Child Development
A tool to help families better understand age-appropriate development through the breakdown of developmental milestones
“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Does it impact children’s well-being?”
Jazzmine Hopper is a fourth year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree program studentat Brock University. She conducts pandemic-based research, specifically focusing on the effects of Coronavirus-19 on children’s well-being and health.
She plans on going into the Consecutive Education program and working in a catholic school board following graduation.
- COVID-19 Learning Hub from SickKids
This is a learning hub SickKids made that includes resources on COVID-19 such as mental health, parenting, well-being, covid testing and how to help adults and children cope.
- Coronavirus-19 Resources for Parents and Children from Government of Canada
This page gives parenting advice during COVID, resources for children’s mental health, and information on how to teach your child about COVID-19
- Resource Hub
COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub is a collaboration between Jack.org, School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone; it is a hub of resources to help you take care of yourself and others during COVID such as breathing exercises, where to find mental health services, and resources for educators.
- LOCKDOWN LIFE: Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 on Youth in Canada by Mental Heath Commission of Canada (PDF Report)
As a result of the HEADSTRONG COVID-19 Survey, the Mental Health Commission of Canada examines the results of the study and how youth were dealing with their challenges, coping strategies, how they sought mental health support, and whether they had positive experiences during this period of uncertainty.
“Unpacking the systemic inequities of ECEs in the school board”
Lauren Mumby-Dewulf is a current 4th year BECE student who is looking forward to graduate this spring with plans for further education in the fall. She is a mother of three and a full time ECE in her local school board.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys crafting and giving back to her community by sitting on the Board of Directors for her local figure skating club.
The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario is an advocacy group who strive to better the working conditions of Early Childhood Educators.
- The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
An advocacy group for professionals and families that strives for better working conditions for early childhood educators and to work towards better care.
- Early Childhood Education Report
Is a report that comes out every 3 years that reviews the ECEC in Canada.
“Childhood trauma in early childhood education after COVID”
Noor Alvi is a fourth-year ambassador of the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Honors) program at Brock University and is proud to announce she has made the third-year Dean’s Honour List. She conducted a year-long research project on Childhood Trauma in Early Childhood Education After COVID: Are Educators Prepared?
She has worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator for the past five years and inspires to work as a professor in college institutions. Noor can be found exploring new topics/curricula to support children with exceptionalities.
- Trauma Informed Practice
Explicit strategies for teachers – practice or safe and supportive schools, creates a shared understanding and common language about how to create welcoming, caring, respectful and safe schools.
- What is Trauma-Informed Care?
A provision of care, but the main principles of trauma-informed care would also apply to education and match Maslow’s hierarchy.
- Attend Training workshops
Online workshops related to Trauma, resilience, and behaviour.
It is an essential resource used by schoolboard, teachers, and ECEs across Ontario and beyond.
- Impulse – Brain Training app
Download an app which parents, teachers, and kids may use to evaluate or self-monitor themselves. This application was created to exercise and test your brain.
- Trauma Informed Workplace Assessment
This tool assessment form is designed for education workplaces where principles, administrators and teachers can use it.
- Trauma-Informed School Strategies during COVID-19
Supporting and Sustaining Trauma-Informed Schools: A System Framework,” to consider how, in the time of COVID-19, schools can adapt or transform their practices by using a trauma-informed approach to help children feel safe, supported, and ready to learn
Educator Training, Professional Development, and Wellbeing
“The importance of educator’s incorporating mindfulness-based practices into their professional and personal lives”
Gabriella Argenta is currently in her fourth year at Brock University in the BECE program. Her career goal is to become a Kindergarten teacher because she wants to assist children with their learning and growth, while they begin their journey in elementary school. Gabriella studies the importance of educator’s incorporating mindfulness-based practices into their professional and personal lives.
Gabriella enjoys travelling, reading, spending time with family, friends and her dog.
- Alefaio & Le (2018)
Within this study, educators took part in a mindfulness training workshop, and provided their thoughts and feelings on the program, and how it assisted their stress levels.
- Broderick et al. (2013)
The researchers studied the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based program, designed to reduce stress, and increase the well-being of educators.
- Jennings & Sharp (2016)
This study examined how educator presence improved after participants took part in a mindfulness program that focused on building resiliency.
- Headspace for Educators
This resource offers free access to mindfulness practices for educators, in the form of mediation. There are resources for caring for self-care, and how to care for students.
- Mindful Schools
This website provides educators with information about incorporating mindfulness practices into their professional lives and within the classroom. This website offers online courses for educators to enroll in.
- The Balanced Educator Podcast
This podcast provides educators with mindfulness techniques to assist them with feeling a great sense of calmness. The hosts provide ways to incorporate mindfulness into one’s personal and professional life.
“Prioritizing educator mental health: The urgent need for resources and action”
Giuseppe Cosoleto is a 4th year Brock Student currently completing his Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. He has worked in childcare settings since he has completed his degree for ECE at Mohawk College back in 2021. Giuseppe’s goal is to continue his education and become a teacher.
- College of ECE Mental Health Resource Centre
The College of ECE Mental Health Mental Health Resource Centre is a resource which is dedicated in promoting the mental healthand well-being among early childhood educators in Canada.
- Bounce Back Ontario
BounceBack Ontario is a free program offered by the Ontariogovernment to support individuals experiencing mild to moderateanxiety and depression, stress, and other mental health issues.
“Early childhood educator training: Play-based learning in kindergarten classrooms”
Julia Tarasco is a fourth year BECE student at Brock University. While achieving her goal to work on the school board as a primary school teacher following teachers’ college, Julia is also an avid book reader. She uses play-based learning in her practice and hopes to bring attention to the importance of professional development.
- How does learning happen?
How Does Learning Happening? Encourages children, families, and educators to offer their perspectives, which will assist influence all parts of your early childhood program.
- Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
An overview of Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory.
- The Kindergarten Program
This document outlines what four- and five-year-old in Ontario’s two-year kindergarten program will learn, as well as how educators will help your child learn through play and inquiry
“Benefits behind professional development”
Kyla Beck is current student at Brock University in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program. She has spent the past two semesters researching professionalism in ECE for her honour’s thesis to see how its benefits educators, children and families. Kyla enjoys engaging with her fellow peers in the program to grow and development as an educator.
- Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO) Website
This is a membership-based site where educators can gain access to information and professional development opportunities. It provides resources and news updates within the field.
- Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Document
This document outlines the standards and expectations for ECE’s in Ontario including professional development.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Website
This website provides a variety of resources including self-paced online modules for professional development
Mackenzie Karvonen and Sydney Jaques
Mackenzie Karvonen is currently a Brock University Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Student in her fourth and final year. She works in a childcare centre on Wasauksing First Nation and is in the process of becoming the on-site resource educator. Mackenzie can be found working with children and educators to form new strategies to help the children develop coping skills to learn in their environment.
Sydney Jaques is a 4th-year BECE student at Brock University and currently works in the field as a Montessori teacher. After learning about many different educational approaches from studying for her ECE at Georgian College Sydney enjoys the Montessori method because it fosters a love for learning and encourages children to ask questions while searching for answers on their own. Sydney stands by one of Dr.Montessori’s most inspiring quotes “The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, the children are now working as if I did not exist.”
- The MBI scale is used to determine the level of burnout an educator is feeling and the subsection they are most relating to (depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, or lack of personal accomplishment). It can be purchased here.
- Teacher Burnout: 4 Warning Signs and How to Prevent It
This website provides educators and admin with signs to look out for to recognize burnout when it is apparent.
- The 7 Best ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout in 2022
Tips and ideas to help avoid burnout in the workplace provide ideas and information about them.
“Are early childhood educator prepared on how to work with children that have autism?”
Nikki Laurenti, a 4th year BECE student at Brock University has conducted a thesis that researches how prepared ECE’s feel when working with children that have autism. Currently working in the field with an EA diploma, Nikki has built on her experiences in education by recently teaching in Thailand.
- SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale
The SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale is designed to assess inclusion quality using subscales of principles and practices. Subscales assess commitment to inclusion in policy and practice, as well as the quality of practices and resources used to support inclusion in specific preschool and child care classrooms. The scales are based on observation, documentation review and interviews with program staff, similarily set up like the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS). This document gives opportunity for reflection of policies and practices and can be used as a guide to create positive and inclusive early childhood environments for all children. There is a link provided to request access to the scale in its entirety.
- Visual Scheduling Benefits
Benefits of incorporating visual scheduling could support children with ASD, as research has associated core features of ASD with strengths in processing visual information and deficits in processing auditory information. Visual schedules can help children with ASD during transition times and can be adapted and personalized to each individual child and their abilities. Here are some free visual scheduling printables.
- How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (2014)
This is a document that is widely used in child care centres across Ontario. It is a professional learning resource guide about learning through relationships for those working with young children and families. It is intended to support pedagogy and curriculum/programming in the early years.
There are four foundations to How Does Learning Happen? that foster healthy child development.
- Kline, L., O’Connor, B., Welton, E., Vakil, S. (2009) Inclusion Means Everyone! The Role of the Early Childhood Educator when Including Young Children with Autism in the Classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal 36:321-326 DOI: 10.1007/s10643-008-0289-5
- This is an academic document that refers to the role of ECE’s when inlcusind children with ASD in the classroom. The authors provide information on children with ASD and how they present unique and sometimes difficult challenges. The authors emphasize the importance of inclusion in special education and that a supportive environment in the early years stimulates learning and reinforces the synaptic connections which enhance development in children. They support interdisciplinary teams to create meaningful experiences, and provide a valuable research on inclusive education.
“Anthem of the heart: Reflecting on approaches to infant care in early childhood educator practice”
Trisha Jorge is a fourth-year graduating student in the BECE program at Brock University. She is committed to expressing that rich learning opportunities begin with the child’s strengths and needs first. To be vulnerable to the sentiment of her journey in early childhood practice is to allow intellect, emotion, and spirit to radiate her passion and desire to see students as a whole and capable of understanding the reality of the world beyond academics.
- THE HEART OF A TEACHER – Identity and Integrity in Teaching
Author: Parker J. Palmer
Embracing vulnerability in diverse experiences and how educators can connect these forces to cultivate a sense of self-wholeness in harmony with their subject and students.
- Calm, Alert, and Happy
Author: Dr. Stuart Shanker
The foundations to understanding self-regulation and recognizing the signs of stress in children.
- TED Talk Every Kid Needs a Champion
By: Rita Pierson
Enabling children to feel competent and secure with their contribution to nurturing an inclusive, caring environment.
“Early childhood educators’ workplace well-being and burnout in the current education system”
Zhike Zhang is a 4th-year student in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program at Brock University. Zhike has a specific interest in the topic of equity, diversity and inclusion in early childhood education. She conducted a research project on studying early childhood educators’ workplace well-being and burnout in the current education system.
- Goldberg. S (Network for Social Work Management.). Self Care Toolkit
The toolkit package introduces well-being and includes various self-evaluation tools/scales for personal well-being and stress in the workplace, as well as articles that discuss stress relief/self-care strategies.
- Head Start- Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center. Promoting Staff Well-being
The website provides resources for well-being education in the ECEC programs, such as supporting mental health, physical well-being and knowledge of vaccinations.
- Kwon K. A., Horm D.M., & Amirault C. (2021). Early Childhood Teachers’ Well-Being: What We Know and Why Should We Care
The article discusses the current early childhood educators’ well-being conditions and the issues they face in their practices. In addition, the article provides comprehensive information for educators and organizations to understand the challenges in the ECE field.
- Choi C. (2021). Overcoming burnout in childcare classrooms. [Blogpost]
The blog introduces the factors that cause educators’ job burnout in the ECE programs and some organizational-level strategies that can use to support their staff.
- Dixon A. (2021). 10 Ways to Stay Healthy as an Early Childhood Educator. [Blogpost]
The blog shared some tips for educators to maintain or improve their well-being conditions in individual level.
“Barriers of Implementation of Curriculum”
Grace King is a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student at Brock University. She has conducted a thesis revealing the underlying barriers that affect the implementation of curriculum within childcare centres. Grace has a passion for working with children and providing high-quality care within inclusive environments. She hopes to become a kindergarten teacher in the future.
- Fináncz, J., Nyitrai, Á., Podráczky, J., & Csima, M. (2020). Connections between Professional Well-Being and Mental Health of Early Childhood Educators. International Journal of Instruction, 13(4), 731-746.
- Jones, A. (2023). Government officials estimate Ontario could be short 8,500 early childhood educators. CBC News.
- Quinones, G., Barnes, M., Berger, E. (2021). Early childhood educators ‘solidarity and struggles for recognition. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, Vol. 46 (4) 296-308.
- The Healthy Policy Project. (2014, July). Implementation Barriers.
Exceptionalities and Needs Support
“The role of digital technology in the development of children with special needs”
Deirdre Mallehe is an Early Childhood Educator and works at two school boards. She likes to read biographies and autobiographies, listen to different genres of music, try her hand at various types of cuisines, and be one with nature. A busy mother of 5, Deirdre likes travelling and spending time with her family.
The following video talks about how technology helps children with special needs to be independent without constant need for one-on-one teacher involvement. The child can also learn at his own speed level and apps can be personalized to accommodate fhe student’s needs and abilities. When teachers implement various types of technologies in special education it helps to simplify communication with the student and improves academic skills including listening, reading, writing, and speaking. It allows the student to learn the curriculum material studied by his peers in an inclusive classroom.
The second video from Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium explains the importance of using technology to teach children with diverse learning needs. They emphasize the various apps that can be used to facilitate learning. There are apps that recognizes human voices and synthesizes and avoids writing for students who are unable to hold a pen or pencil. Technology can also help children who cannot process visual information and Braille keyboards and screen reader apps help the visually impaired students. By providing digital technology a child with special needs could learn the same content their contemporaries learn in a developmentally appropriate manner.
In their 2020 global report UNESCO states the importance of using technology for inclusion and in page 27 states the barriers pertaining to using technology in the classrooms to teach children with special needs including lack of funding, resources, trained teachers and lack of support for Inclusive education which I have mentioned in my thesis.
“How emotional regulation affects learning in children with autism”
Justine Galarneau is a currently 4th year ECE student. She has a diploma in Early Childhood education and Child and Youth Care with an Indigenous Specialization. She currently works as a Registered Behavioural Therapist in Thunder Bay Ontario. Her goal is to finish her Bachelor’s and start her Masters of Applied Behavioural Analysis in September. Justine can be found outdoors exploring nature, spending time with her puppy Poppy, or making sourdough bread.
“Evaluating RTI as an early intervention model for Ontario’s early years programs: Strategies for successful implementation”
Lisa Ruggiero, a graduating Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student at Brock University, is dedicated and enthusiastic about pursuing a degree in education and specializing in the primary division. Her new passion for research has sparked an interest in one day obtaining a master’s degree and conducting research to contribute to the education field.
- How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years (Queen’s Printer for Ontario, 2014)
This is a resource about learning through relationships for those who work with young children and their families in Ontario.
- Promoting Healthy Child Development through Early Intervention: A Child and Family-Centred Approach to Response to Intervention (RTI) in Ontario’s Early Years Programs (Lisa Ruggiero, 2023)
This is a document that outlines suggested steps for developing Response to Intervention in Early Childhood Education
- Response to Intervention in Canada: Definitions, the Evidence Base, and Future Directions (McIntosh et al., 2011)
This is an article discussing the Response to Intervention model as an alternative to the traditional model of school psychology, its potential benefits, and its adoption and research in Canada.
- Roadmap to Pre-K RTI: Applying Response to Intervention in Preschool Settings (National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2009)
The report describes five projects demonstrating the adaptation of Response to Intervention (RTI) for pre-k children, identifies critical elements for fidelity of implementation, provides guiding questions for policy makers/program directors, and offers policy recommendations for Pre-K RTI initiatives.
- Developmental Disabilities with an Indigenous Lens – Education Sector (Chiefs of Ontario, 2021)
This YouTube video discusses the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples with developmental disabilities and explores culturally appropriate interventions to support them.
“Math anxiety in early years”
Nazia Omer is a current student researcher pursuing Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Brock University. Her research interests are understanding and navigating math anxiety and identifying and reducing students’ challenging behaviour in early life. She wants to provide parents and educators with strategies to deal with negative emotions in the early years.
- CBC News
Western University conducted a couple of research to understand the topic of math anxiety. This website is a good source for parents and educators to understand what math anxiety is and how math anxiety is spreading. The problems arising from math anxiety are also mentioned on the website.
- Third Space Learning
This website is a great resource to understand and manage your children’s math anxiety. It is evident from the help that math anxiety is not linked to the age of children. The video on the website defines what stress is and how to manage your anxiety.
- Research Gate
To understand math anxiety; Geist (2009) studies The anti anxiety curriculum; Combating math anxiety in the classroom is an excellent way for parents and educators to understand the underlying factors of math anxiety. These factors may include the gender economic status of the family. The author of the study also recommends reducing old instructional and assessment methods.
“Attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder and academic achievement”
Ryan Natividad and Brianna Budhram
Ryan Natividad is a 4th Year BECE student and reprises the role of Centre Director for IDEA Lab Kids – East Oakville. Apart from working to acquire an Honor’s Degree at Brock, Ryan immerses in building community partnerships at work, spearheading events, and coordinating with his staff.
Brianna Budhram is a 4th-year BECE student. She works at YMCA as a site supervisor for the before-school program and an RECE in a family grouping center. While working to acquire her honors degree, Brianna builds and maintains positive relationships with her co-workers and peers and facilitates learning opportunities for co-workers.
- Very Well Health – ADHD
- Practical Psychology – Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
- Barber, S., Cottrell, B., Grubbs, L.(2005). Self-Perception in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 20(4), 235–245.
- Birchwood, J., & Daley, D. (2010). ADHD and academic performance: why does ADHD impact on academic performance and what can be done to support ADHD children in the classroom? Child : Care, Health & Development, 36(4), 455–464. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.01046.x
- Currie, J., Jones, L., Stabile, M. (2014). Do stimulant medications improve educational and behavioral outcomes for children with ADHD? Journal of Health Economics, 37, 58–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.05.002 Garcia, A., Graziano, P., M., Hare, M. M., Hart, K. C. et al. (2021). Intervention response among preschoolers with ADHD: The role of emotion understanding. Journal of School Psychology, 84, 19–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2020.11.001
“ADHD in the early years”
Michael Donald Henderson
Michael Donald Henderson is a fourth year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Student at Brock University. Michael Conducted a Research study on ADHD in the Early Year. Michael is often explore nature and Camping with Friends.
Health and Wellbeing
“Mental health issues in children living in low economic status”
Graciella Villalta Lagos
Graciela Villalta-Lagosis a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student and RECE in Ontario. She has a passion for working with children and learning about early childhood development. She enjoys providing fun, adventurous, and constantly developing experiences for children to further expand their interest in the world.
- Canadian Medical Association Journal
This report discusses how a non-profit is asking for help from federal parties to address child poverty while discussing how it affects children’s mental health.
- Children First Canada
A recourse of facts related to child poverty in Canada.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
A collection of infographics that provide statistics related to children’s mental health in Canada
“Impact of socioeconomic status and food insecurity on the well-being of students with autism spectrum disorder”
Mariam Majeed and Katherine England
Mariam Majeed is a fourth-year BECE student at Brock University. She conducted a thesis on the impact of socioeconomic status and food insecurity on the well-being of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is trilingual and a French tutor passionate about expanding her knowledge in early childhood development and teaching young children.
Katherine England is in her last semester at Brock University in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program. Katherine has conducted her thesis on the impacts of socioeconomic status on the well-being of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking with her children and hiking outdoors
- Food Banks in Ontario Feed Ontario can help link families to food banks in Ontario.
- Autism Ontario
Help connects families and/or caregivers to supports and resources that may be needed.
- ASD FEED-Ed | Research
Learn more about the studies that have been conducted at Holland Bloorview Children’s Hospital related to food selectivity, feeding disturbances and Autism.
“Implementing mindfulness practice in early childhood settings in Ontario”
Michaela Kavanaugh and Ashley Thompson
My name is Michaela Kavanaugh, and I am a graduating BECE student who is passionate about advocating for mental health recognition in the early years. I am so proud to have been able to research mindfulness for this collaborative thesis as I think it is so important as individuals, as educators, as a parent, etc. I currently work for the Ottawa Catholic school board as an educational assistant and am excited to be starting teachers’ college in the fall. On my free time I love being outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying good food and drinks!
My name is Ashley Thompson, and I am a graduating BECE student with a keen interest in advocating for mental health. My wholehearted interest and background in embedding mindfulness practice into my own life as a mom, educator, and individual, allowed me to wholly immerse myself into research surrounding the topic of mindfulness for my collaborative thesis. I currently work for Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School board as a supply staff and am on a path to becoming a certified primary/junior teacher in Ontario. Outside of the classroom, I can be seen spending time with my three children and two dogs or enjoying the great outdoors!
- Mindful Schools
This organization takes an “integrated approach to create healthy school cultures in which every person feels valued, engaged, and ready to learn”. This website is a great resource for discovering strategies to create welcome and safe learning spaces for all children.
There is also a “building a trauma-sensitive classroom” workshop happening on April 12 from 7-8:30pm for anyone interested!
This website is great because it strides to incorporate mindfulness into schools and create a safe space for kids to learn. There are a variety of online courses to choose from, promoting self-care and building resilience. There are courses such as how to meditate, a 30-day meditation challenge and a practical guide to daily mindfulness. The price for different courses varies but some start for as little as $30.
- Teacher Academy
This blog is a great starter resource for individuals, parents, educators, etc. There are a variety of topics covered such as what is mindfulness, what are the benefits, how can we practice mindfulness, and why should we use mindfulness in schools. There is also some great suggestions for how to introduce mindfulness into the classroom, such as breathing and calming jars with a step-by-step video on how to make them.
- Sitting Still Like a Frog – PDF
This link provides you access to download this 77 page book for free! This book was written by a therapist and a certified mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) therapist. It discusses an introduction to mindfulness and suggestions to practices to both parents and children that help children be calm, become more focused, fall asleep quicker, and alleviate worry.
“Children’s mental health: Outcomes and effects”
Samantha Collins is a current fourth year graduating student at Brock University studying to receive her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She currently works within her local schoolboard as an emergency supply teacher and plans to attend teachers’ college in the fall. Samantha is a very driven and passionate individual who is eager to continue her education in order to hopefully become an elementary school teacher in the near future.
- CDC – Articles and Key Findings about Children’s Mental Health
- Children’s Health Policy Centre – Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly
- Children’s Mental Health Ontario – Children and Youth Mental Health Survey
- National Institute of Mental Health – Children’s Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage?
- SickKids – Resources for parents on how to support your child’s mental health
“Standardizing allergy forms across the province to increase the safety and confidence of children with food allergies, their families, and educators”
Kristen Doyle is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Brock University. Kristen often spends time with her family, raising her children and spending lots of time outdoors. Kristen is passionate about working with children and hopes to pursue a teaching degree in the near future.
- Urgentology Care
This resource is relevant as it relates to pediatric allergies. It contains information and tips for learning, coping and managing food allergies in children.
FARE stands for food allergy research education. This website contains a plethora of resources and information to do with allergies. It has specific sections for adults and children. There are also statistics.
- Allergy Aware
Allergy Aware is a great resource for educators and individuals alike. It offers free training courses about allergies and anaphylaxis.
“An Examination of Healthy Active Lifestyle for Children in Early Childhood Contexts.”
Jenna Thorpe is currently a fourth year graduating student in the Early Childhood Education Honors Degree Program. She conducted research on the topic of a healthy active lifestyle for preschool children in full day programs. Included is a resource handbook for educators to further their knowledge on how to promote a healthy active lifestyle. When Jenna is not busy with her school work, you can find her in the gym, listening to country music or working with young children in both recreational & educational settings.
- Children and Physical Activity
This link to the Government of Canada website shares information regarding the benefits of physical activity, how to encourage regular exercise and statistical facts.
- Early Years (0-4 years): Infants, Toddlers and Preschooler
This link discusses guidelines and recommendations regarding physical activity and behavior. It also suggests time ranges for physical movement throughout the week.
- Active Kids, Healthy Kids
This link shares a program that was designed by Canadian pediatricians, and offers educational videos and resources. (informational videos & articles)
- Physical Activity & Play
This link is designed for early childhood educators, It discusses the importance of physical activity and play. The website shares plenty of articles, webinars and activities on the topic of movement and wellbeing.
Inclusion and Support
“The introduction of sustainability into an ECE curriculum: The identification of problems and roadblocks preventing its inclusion into the Ontario ECE curriculum and implementation of its teaching in the classroom”
Amelia Moffatt is a RECE and is in the process of completing her degree in ECE at Brock University. She has worked full time as an RECE in the full French Kindergarten classroom since 2012. Amelia enjoys outdoor play and education, where the children can observe and explore nature and learn while they are playing.
- Young children and the environment
The second edition of this book provides interactive information for personal and classroom change, using reflection questions. Also, following are some website links for extra information and/or related activities.
Davis, J. M. (Ed.). (2014). Young children and the environment. Cambridge University Press.
- Conceptions of sustainability within the redesigned K-12 curriculum in British Columbia, Canada: Mapping a disputed terrain
This article provides educators and curriculum writers with an account of the diversity and contestability of the conceptions of sustainability embedded into the policies and processes related to the transformation of the K-12 curriculum in British Columbia (B.C.),
Fallon, G., VanWynsberghe, R., & Robertson, P. (2017). Conceptions of sustainability within the redesigned K-12 curriculum in British Columbia, Canada: Mapping a disputed terrain. Journal of Sustainability Education, 16.
- Environmental and Sustainability Education Pedagogical Approaches in Pre-Service Teacher Education
This article talks about challenges that teachers may face and their pushback against integrating ESE pedagogical strategies. Such as; lack of time, finances, transportation, supervision, cumbersome administrative process, include physical proximity to sites, resources, and teaching in an unsupportive climate (resistance from parents).
Sims, L., Asselin, M., & Falkenberg, T. (2020). Environmental and Sustainability Education Pedagogical Approaches in Pre-Service Teacher Education. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 23(1), 14-32.
- UNSETTLING SETTLERS’ IDEAS OF LAND AND RELEARNING LAND WITH INDIGENOUS WAYS OF KNOWING IN ECEFS
This article argued in part that decolonization plays a big part in sustainability. We must adopt the Indigenous way when we think about the land and sustainability.
Harwood, D., Whitty, P., Green, C., & Elliot, E. (2020). Unsettling Settlers’ Ideas of Land and Relearning Land with Indigenous Ways of Knowing in ECEfS. In Researching Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (pp. 25-37). Routledge.
“Supporting blind and visually impaired children in nature”
Erika Tilbrook is a fourth-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Student at Brock University. She will be starting her Master of Education degree at Brock in September 2023. Erika is a mom to four amazing children who are her greatest supporters. Erika loves working with children and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of all children!
- W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind
This is a website for W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind in Brantford, Ont. Students swim, go downhill skiing, play hockey, and go for forest walks, just to name a few activities.
- Forsyth, P. (2022, November 14). ‘Beautiful’: Blind man takes his first hike on Heartland Forest Trail. NiagaraThisWeek.com
This is a great article written about a former student of W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind. He discusses how he uses an app that gives people who are blind or visually impaired a way to navigate Heartland Forest to go hiking.
- Haben: The DeafBlind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, A Memoir, by Haben Girma
Girma, H. (2019). Haben: The Deafblind woman who conquered Harvard law. Twelve.
This is an inspirational and amazing book about a woman who states first-hand her experiences as a deafblind woman growing up in society and how she navigated and conquered her way through challenges.
- Reach Out and Teach: Helping Your Child Who is Visually Impaired Learn and Grow, by Kay Alicyn Ferrell
Ferrell, K. A. (2011). Reach out and teach: Helping your child who is visually impaired learn and grow. AFB Press.
This is an informative book for parents and/or educators to help your blind or visually impaired child learn and grow.
- Keep Your Ear on the Ball by Genevieve Petrillo
Petrillo, G., & Lyon, L. (2009). Keep your ear on the ball. Tilbury House.
A great resource for children to read or be read to. This book is based on a true story about a boy who is blind in a sighted classroom.
- Helen Keller: The World at Her Fingertips (I Can Read Level 2) (2019)
Albee, S. (2019). Helen Keller: The World at her fingertips. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.
A great resource for children. This book is based on Helen Keller and her story and how she did not let anything stop her from achieving anything that she wanted in life.
“Early literacy interventions”
Katrina Lye is a fourth-year BECE student at Brock University. She aspires to be a primary school teacher. She lives in a small rural community with her husband and three young children. Her hobbies outside of schoolwork include reading, watching sports, and spending time outdoors.
“Inclusion of children with neurodevelopmental disorder in mainstream classrooms”
Maha Methwally and Engi El Nahry
Maha Metwally and Engi El Nahry are 4th year graduating students from the BECE program at Brock University. Both are mothers of children with special needs and actively worked with children for 5 years. They experienced the challenges of the inclusion process from both perspectives, as parents and as educators.
- CDC. (2020). Disability and Health Overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
- Guiding principles. (2020). Inclusive Education. What is Inclusive Education? Retrieved March 8, 2023.
- Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8 (3rd ed.) by Naeyc (2009).
- Guiding principles. (2020). Inclusive Education. What is Inclusive Education? Retrieved March 8, 2023.
- Including Children with Special Needs: Are You and Your Early Childhood Program Ready? By Amy Watson & Rebecca McCathren (2009).
- Inclusion in Education by UNESCO (2023).
- Policy guidelines about inclusion in education by UNESCO (2009).
“Inclusive playgrounds and children with special needs: A connection to behaviour and development”
Meghan Wolanczyk is a Registered ECE. She is completing her Bachelors of Early Childhood Education program after a 10-year break, where she worked as a contract ECE, teaching kindergarten within the District School Board of Niagara. She has a passion for learning and education with the earliest learners.
- The DSBN Accessibility Plan for 2010-2020
This plan states the schools which are considered fully accessible and which ones are to be rebuilt or adjusted in the future.
- Children’s perceptions of playing on inclusive playgrounds
This article considers children’s perspectives on inclusive playgrounds and if they are a place where all children can develop a successful social relationships with peers.
- Gil Gordon Park, Thorold, Ontario
While researching for inclusive playgrounds, this local playground was found to be the ideal inclusive and accessible playground, a model playground, which others are trying to achieve.
- Landscape Structures- Inclusive playgrounds for your community
This is a website designed to help promote inclusive playgrounds. Different structures and designs are for sale. There are playground education classes and many different design inspiration ideas for educators, professionals and school boards.
“Supporting belongingness of children with autism spectrum disorder in the classroom”
Rachel Cubellis is a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education program at Brock University. She is eager to attend teacher’s college in the fall to continue her passion for educating the young minds of children within the primary/junior program. Rachel can be found playing soccer and hockey outside of the classroom.
- Autism Canada
Autism Canada is an organization that educates individuals to see autism through a unique lens of sharing the history, offering support to families, and providing resources for children with autism.
- Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks Canada is a non-profit organization that builds towards supporting the needs of individuals with autism to reach their full potential by expressing what autism is and volunteer experiences to learn more about autism.
- International Teachers Association
International Teachers Association is a space for educators around the world to become informed and educated together in regard to autism to build quality education for children as all children deserve an inclusive education.
“Gender expansive supportive resources for families”
Sabrina Thompson is currently a 4th year student in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Brock University. Recently accepted into the Brock Bachelor of Education program, Sabrina aspires to work with children in the primary grades. Sabrina is passionate about the environment and exploring the outdoors with her daughter.
- Book: Supporting gender diversity in early childhood classrooms by Pastel et al.
A resource that provides early childhood educators with strategies to utilize when supporting gender diverse children and their families.
A Canadian website that provides research and education to the reader about the 2SLGBTQI community and issues.
- Gender Creative Kids
A Canadian website that provides resources for families, allies, and children who identify as transgender and/or nonbinary.
- Pflag Canada
A Canadian organization that connects families with children in the LGBTQ2S community to resources within their community.
“ASL in Mainstream education”
Victoria Botelho is a fourth-year student in the BECE degree program at Brock University and a RECE since 2020. She has worked with early learners from 12 months to 14 years old over the years and was recently providing autism therapy. Victoria spends her free time reading and exploring Pinterest for new learning experiences.
- Allen, T. E., Letteri, A., Choi, S. H., & Dang, D. (2014). Early visual language exposure and emergent literacy in preschool deaf children: Findings from a national longitudinal study.
The research conducted provides evidence that students can be supported in their literacy and communication development through a language-rich environment that promotes language through various models such as visual supports and ASL-English conversations.
- Daniels, M. (2003). Using a signed language as a second language for kindergarten students.
This journal explores the findings from a study that demonstrated that studetns exposed to sign language in their kindergarten classrooms achieved the typical milestones in language and communication development regardless of their hearirng abilities.
- Preisler, G. M., & Ahlström, M. (1997). Sign language for hard of hearing children — a hindrance or a benefit for their development?
This study explores the findings that children in Sweden that were exposed to ASL-English teaching methods experienced benefits when it came to their communication and literacy skills while also being supported in their social and emotional development by being able to communicate with all their peers, hearing and not.
“Inclusivity through Universal Design in Classrooms of Different Levels.”
Asmaa Belahlou is a fourth year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education degree program student at Brock University. Asmaa has a specific interest in inclusive classroom environments which was sparked after being an educator of various classrooms at a school for almost two years. Asmaa can often be found outdoors with her sisters, she enjoys embroidering, reading, and using her knowledge as an early childhood educator to make a positive impact on children in their early years.
This website offers a range of resources, including articles, videos, and lesson plans, to help educators create more inclusive classrooms.
- Center on Universal Design for Learning
This website offers a wealth of resources to help educators design and implement inclusive curricula that meet the needs of all learners. They provide guidelines, tools, and examples of successful implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
- Inclusive Education Checklist: A Self-Assessment of Best Practices. (Book) by Richard Villa and Jacqueline Thousand.
This book provides checklists and action plans to help educators implement inclusive practices in their classrooms.
Languages and Literacy
Hallie Snache is a currently a 4th-year BECE student at Brock University. She is hoping to complete the BECE program and utilize her knowledge to better the Early Childhood field within her community of Rama First Nation. While also continuing to learn her own Ojibwe language, the goal is to eventually become an Indigenous language teacher.
Indigenous languages – Glossaries, dictionaries and writing resources – Collection of Canadian language resources – Resources of the Language Portal of Canada – Languages – Canadian identity and society – Culture, history and sport – Canada.ca (noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca) · First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation language resources – Canada.ca · https://www.otffeo.on.ca/en/learning/indigenous-education/
“Literacy development in ECE”
Jie Zhan is a 4th-year student in the Early Childhood Education program at Brock University. I had experience working with children in various age groups. I am an RECE working in a Montessori preschool classroom, and I am passionate about early learning development and enjoy providing positive learning experiences for children.
- Best Start Expert Panel on Early Learning. (2014). Excerpts from early learning for every child today: A framework for Ontario early childhood settings. Toronto, ON: Author. (paper copy)
- College of early childhood educators. (2017). Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. https://www.college-ece.ca/en/Documents/Code_and_Standards_2017.pdf
- Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). The Kindergarten Program. Toronto, On: Queen’s printer for Ontario.
- Ostrosky, M. M., Gaffney, J. S., & Thomas, D. V. (2006). The interplay between literacy and relationships in early childhood settings. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 22(2), 173–191.
- Razfar, A. & Yang, E. (2010). Digital, Hybrid, and Multilingual Literacies in Early Childhood. Language Arts, 88(2), 114-124. Retrieved March 28, 2023 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/65366/
- Rowsell, J. & Walsh, M. (2011). Rethinking Literacy Education in New Times: Multimodality, Multiliteracies, & New Literacies. Retrieved from: https://brightspace.brocku.ca//content/enforced/45085-2022-FW-D02-S01-ECEC-4P24-ASY/Rowsell%20&%20Walsh%20(2011).pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=tXEUI9PuQhCUUFo7AZI8vsnOz&ou=45085
- Santrock, J. W. (2019). Children (14th ed.). New York, NY 10121: McGraw-Hill Education.
“Supporting educators in creating an enriched early learning environment to support literacy development in young children”
Kaci Kiley is a fourth year BECE student at Brock University. She is a registered early childhood educator and 200h yoga teacher. She has worked in the field for 6 years, 3 of them being in childcare and 3 of them being within the school board. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education and hopes to become a junior primary teacher. Kaci can be found going to many toddler activities groups with her son and making fun and messy sensory ideas together.
- Developing a Friendly and Productive Language Learning Environment (FPLE) Using the Learner as a Resource
This article highlights the importance of implementing an effective language-learning environment. It also speaks to the challenges that educators face in implementing literacy learning in their classrooms.
- Developing Literacy through Play
This resource examines how literacy skills is developed through play and the importance of letting children explore their world through play.
- A model of professional development: teachers’ perceptions of their professional development
This research article looks at how educators perceive their professional development and how educators participating in professional development directly impact their teachings and practices.
“Literacy in the 21st Century: Why should it not be integrated into education?”
Lauren Robinet is a 4th-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) student at Brock University. She has a passion for children and literacy which inspired this study. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys travelling, spending time with family and talking walks with her beloved Husky, Vader.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
This webpage contains links to the NAEYC’s position statement on technology and interactive media and various articles on the topic.
- UNICEF- 10 Things to Know About Digital Literacy
It is a list of things people should know about digital literacy to expand their knowledge of the topic.
- Literacy Instruction with Digital and Media Technologies
This article gives an example of how digital and media literacies are woven into a classroom.
- Endless Alphabet
It is an interactive educational app that teaches children the alphabet and builds their vocabulary.
“The feasibility of bilingual education in the Chinese education system and its impact on performance in other subjects”
Meiyi Song is a dedicated educator with a passion for Early Childhood Education. She is currently pursuing a degree in the field and is eager to contribute to shaping the minds of the nest generation. Meiyi has always had a natural ability to connect with children, and she finds joy in creating a safe and nurturing learning environment where they can grow and thrive.
- Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: The impact beyond foreign language learning. The impact of bilingual education from the perspective of other regions https://doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12305
- The Influence of Bilingualism on Cognitive Strategy and Cognitive Development. The benefits and drawbacks of bilingual education for children https://doi.org/10.2307/1128353
- The effects of bilingualism on theory of mind development. The positive relationship between bilingual education and children’s ability to complete other tasks https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728903001007
- Performance of typically-developing school-age children with English as an additional language on the British Picture Vocabulary Scales II. -The lack of children’s vocabulary that may be brought about by bilingual education https://doi.org/10.1191/0265659006ct311xx
- Bilingualism and children’s use of paralinguistic cues to interpret emotion in speech. Bilingual children are better at perceiving words and emotions than monolingual children, using signals other than words, such as tone of voice, to judge the speaker’s emotional state https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728910000404
- Parental support for Chinese-English bilingual education: a survey of parents of primary and secondary students in Shanghai. Research on parents’ attitude towards bilingual education in China https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2011.592588
- Comparative research on bilingual education. A Comparative Study on Bilingual Education in China https://kns.cnki.net/KCMS/detail/detail.aspx?dbname=CDFD9908&filename=2004087172.nh
- Bilingual education for young children: review of the effects and consequences. Specific research on bilingual education in terms of language and literacy levels, academic achievement, and applicability to children with particular challenges https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2016.1203859
“Exploring parental perceptions on children’s media literacy”
Yaotian Xing, a dedicated student in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) degree program at Brock University, is also a Registered Early Childhood Educator. With a passion for addressing children’s emerging challenges in their growth and development, Yaotian is committed to analyzing and comprehending these issues from an expert standpoint. It enables him to effectively assist children in overcoming obstacles they face throughout their developmental journey.
- Parental Beliefs on Children’s Home Tech Use
This resource discusses the impact of parents’ beliefs and misconceptions about children’s technology usage, specifically in immigrant families, and suggests ways to support 21st-century literacy and technology skills.
Parents’ beliefs about and associations with their elementary children’s home technology usage (Downes et al., 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-020-10188-2
- Rethinking Literacy Education
An article that provides an overview of emerging research areas, teaching methods, and practices in literacy education while evaluating the current research’s quality, scope, and limitations.
Rethinking Literacy Education in New Times: Multimodality, Multiliteracies, & New Literacies (Rowsell & Walsh, 2011). http://DOI.ORG/10.26522/BROCKED.V21I1.236
- Screen Devices: Soothing Children or Parents?
This paper examines the effects of various screen media on children and explores the relationship between media usage, parental efficacy, and family reading practices.
Are screen devices soothing children or soothing parents? Investigating the relationships among children’s exposure to different types of screen media, parental efficacy and home literacy practices (Chen et al., 2020).
“Connecting children to the outdoors”
Ariel Wehrmann is a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student at Brock University. She works in the field of education with school age children supporting their learning and development in the classroom. Ariel enjoys introducing nature to the children she works with and advocates the value of outdoor experiences for children.
- Outdoor Play for Healthy Little Minds by Sarah Watkins
This book provides information about the relevance of outdoor play for children and discusses the role of educators during the time outdoors to best support children and their learning.
- A Teacher’s Guidebook for bringing learning outside by Child and Nature Alliance of Canada
This guide presents strategies for implementing specific learning in an outdoor context and provides information for educators’ readiness for implementing successful outdoor education in their program.
“Implementation of outdoor learning in the kindergarten”
Charie Hill is a mother of three children from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She is from the Oneida Nation Turtle clan. She loves being outdoors and exploring new opportunities to engage students in learning outdoors. She is working on obtaining her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Brock University. In the fall of 2023, she hopes to continue her education in consecutive Teacher Education for primary and junior through Brock University.
- Active For Life. The website is a great resource for educators and parents, it provides articles and activities that you can do with children outdoors. activeforlife.com
- Teachers Pay Teachers. This website is an excellent resource for educators to get great ideas for different, fun activities for children to do outdoors. teacherspayteachers.com
- Educate Outside. This website has resources for math, literacy, science and other topics for educators to use with students outdoors. educateoutside.com
- Edwards-Jones, A., Waite, S., & Passy, R. (2018). Falling into LINE: school strategies for overcoming challenges associated with learning in natural environments (LINE). Education 3-13, 46(1), 49–63. https://doi.org/10.1080/03004279.2016.1176066
- Francis Norwood, M., Lakhani, A., & Kendall, E. (2021). Teaching traditional indoor school lessons in nature: The effects on student learning and behaviour. Landscape and Urban Planning, 206, 103963. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103963
- Johnson, R. B., Onwuegbuzie, A.J., Turner, L.A. (2007). Toward a definition of mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(2), 112–133. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689806298224
- Kelly, O., Buckley, K., Lieberman, L. J., & Arndt, K. (2022). Universal design for learning – A framework for inclusion in Outdoor Learning. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 25(1), 75–89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42322-022-00096-z
- Laverty, C. (2018). Educational research: A practical guide. Queen’s University. Centre For Teaching and Learning.
- Mann, J., Gray, T., Truong, S., Brymer, E., Passy, R., Ho, S., Sahlberg, P., Ward, K., Bentsen,
- P., Curry, C., & Cowper, R. (2022). Getting out of the classroom and into nature: A systematic review of nature-specific outdoor learning on school children’s learning and development. Frontiers in Public Health, 10, 877058–877058. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.877058
- McKim, C. A. (2017). The Value of Mixed Methods Research: A Mixed Methods Study. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 11(2), 202–222. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689815607096
- Sisson, J. H. & Lash, M. (2017). Outdoor learning experiences connecting children to nature: Perspectives from australia and the united states. YC Young Children, 72(4), 8–16
“Outdoor learning is more than play”
Jolena DePaulo is a registered early childhood educator with nine years of experience within the field. She has years of experience with licensed childcare, school-age programs (before and aftercare, summer camp), and kindergarten and life skills classrooms within the school board. While completing her fourth year of Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Brock University, Jolena is employed as an early childhood educator and educational assistant with the school board. In addition, Jolena is the founder of her summer camp, Big Brain Adventurers, and aspires to gain higher education to advance her career in education
Hamilton Conservation Authority HCA Field Trips Program Guide & Booking Information
The HCA offers field trips for children within the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. This handbook provides valuable information to educators that aspire to become more knowledgeable and confident about planning and implementing outdoor education through participating in field trip programs with their students. Forest and Nature School in Canada Forest and Nature Schools in Canada This handbook defines outdoor learning, emphasizes the roles of educators and children and describes how children learn in a natural setting. Additionally, this handbook advises educators who aspire to begin their outdoor education program and how to find resources. This handbook can serve educators and administrators looking for quality information when planning and implementing outdoor learning programs. Outdoor Play Canada Outdoor Play Canada | Resources Outdoor Play Canada offers a comprehensive library of resources to help support educators in learning, planning and facilitating meaningful outdoor learning experiences
“The importance of outdoor play: How can parents support their child’s outdoor play experience”
Pooja Patel is a fourth-year student at Brock University, in the process of completing her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. She is working towards becoming a kindergarten teacher. She enjoys spending time with children and hopes to provide children with the best experience in whatever they do.
Resources for environmental and sustainability education in Canada are available on the Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) website. Lesson plans, curriculum links, chances for professional development, and other things are among their offerings. A toolkit for building outdoor learning spaces is one of the resources available to teachers to enhance outdoor Learning and introduce kids to nature. Teachers who want to include environmental education and outdoor Learning in their practices will benefit from the LSF website.
The video “The Power of Outdoor Play” is a TEDx Talk by educator and author Angela Hanscom. In the talk, she discusses the importance of outdoor play for children’s physical, mental, and emotional development. She draws on her experience as a pediatric occupational therapist and shares stories of children who have benefitted from outdoor play. She also provides practical tips for parents and educators to encourage more outdoor playtime.he video emphasizes the importance of unstructured outdoor play in promoting healthy development in children.
This is a resource of a website of several outdoor activities for kids, both classic and novel. The website lists the needed number of participants, age range, and basic directions for each game. Teachers and parents seeking innovative and enjoyable methods to promote children’s outdoor play.
A national organization called Outside Play Canada offers tools based on scientific research to encourage and support children’s outside play. On this website, educators can find a wide range of information, such as studies, policy suggestions, and valuable tools for incorporating outdoor play into early childhood education. The website also has a blog with articles on various subjects linked to outdoor play, such as taking risks and learning from nature.
Alisha Elkins and Emily Newell
Alisha Elkins and Emily Newell are current 4th year BECE students at Brock University, prior to that they both graduated from Sheridan College’s ECE program. They are both aspiring to be primary/junior educators. Alisha and Emily can often be found working with children and documenting how their young minds develop.
- A website that helps to understand the benefits that parents, educators and children get from parental involvement, along with strategies for communication. readingrockets.org
- A website for educators to highlights the importance of parental involvement and how educators can help promote it. positiveaction.net
- A quiz for educators to take to test their knowledge on parental involvement. proprofs.com
- The Ontario Government website that helps lay out how educators can play their role in parental involvement. ontario.ca
“Effects of parental divorce on children’s academic”
Jenna Campbell and Mackenna Harnum
Jenna Campbell-Morgan is currently in her fourth year of the BECE program at Brock University. She is very interested in promoting student success in early childhood. Currently, she is engaged in research pertaining to the effects of parental divorce on children’s academic success, as well as how educator’s support for parents positively transcribes into children’s developmental successes. Jenna can often be found outdoors with her son exploring and embracing all that nature has to offer.
McKenna Harnum is a RECE and is currently enrolled in her fourth year of the BECE program at Brock University. She is interested in creating new ways to support inclusivity and equality in early childhood education. McKenna has had a personal experience that pertains to the research she participated in for her thesis project. She is learning how to support children’s academic success throughout parental divorce. McKenna can often be found around her family and caring for others, especially those with special needs.
Programs and Practices
“Motivation in education: Understanding the most prominent variables”
My name is Alexander Drake. I am a fourth year student at Brock University. I am a hardworking student who has a particular interest in bolstering children’s motivation and having fun. I see students as capable and competent learners who should have a say in how they choose to educate themselves.
- Get them talking with Book talk
This is a very nice literacy activity that helps foster autonomy and relatedness, while also building community.
- Self-directed learning ideas
We should also encourage children to be self-motivated in their learning, this website has a lot of great ideas for teachers.
- Motivation worksheets
These are printable worksheets that children can use in their learning journal and keep track of throughout the year.
- Intervention Central
This website has multiple guides for bolstering motivation and helping with certain barriers to it: Lack of self-confidence, non-engaging material, teacher relationships.
“Early childhood environments and their impact on children’s growth, well-being and development”
Katelyn Kusmirski is a 4th-year BECE student at Brock University. She has been actively working in the field as an RECE for the last 12 years for the Waterdown District Children’sCentre. Her goal was to construct a thesis paper that was unique, not based on scholarly articles, but rather on the analysis of photos, videos as well as lived experiences through podcasts.
- All Things Montessori Podcast
A podcast devoted to discussing everything Montessori. From classroom management to self-care, Montessori at home to staying inspired in this work; we cover it all. Hosted by AMI Trainer and Consultant, Jamie Rue and Montessori Teacher and Administrator, Rachel Merle-Smith.
A website full of free resources which include but are not limited to ECE blogs, webinars, Podcasts and a support center. On their website, you can explore preschool and daycare activities your classroom will love! You can also join free masterclasses dedicated to supporting you and enriching our childhood educator community.
- The Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators
CCMA Montessori is an individualized approach to education for children from toddler through high school that helps each child reach their full potential in all areas of life. This website has a variety of Montessori resources which include videos, articles and books and much more. Additionally, a marketplace with links to purchase Montessori items.
- The Learning Environment as a Third Teacher – YouTube Video
YouTube is a wonderful resource for videos and information. The below link is a video from the Simcoe County District School Board which walks through their Reggio Emilia classroom. This video brings awareness to the different activities, and learning centers and showcases classroom aesthetics.
“Ontario education in the early years”
My name is Monika Parr, and I am a current 4th year graduating student from Brock. University in the BECE program. I am also a registered Early Childhood Educator for my local school board in the full-day kindergarten program. I am passionate about outdoor education and finding ways to integrate traditional classroom learning outside classroom walls. I believe outdoor education improves mental health and well-being, enhances development in all areas and allows children to be responsible and respectful to the Indigenous land we are privileged to live and learn on. By creating these positive relationships with our natural world, we can all be stewards of the land and take care of it for generations.
- Take Me Outside – Outdoor Council Canada
The Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) addresses structural barriers hindering the ability of outdoor programs to reach their full impact.These OCC provide information about ideas lesson plans, projects and strategies for outdoor education in schools. This resource supports outdoor education by providing educational resources for educators or families to use to support the practice of outdoor education.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association for the Education of Young Children Promotes high-quality learning by connecting practice, policy, and research. The NAEYC provides educator resources for incorporating outdoor education into early learning environments.
- North American Association for Environmental Education
NAAEE serves as the professional association for environmental education, working with professionals around the world to advance environmental literacy and community engagement to create a more equitable and sustainable future. The NAAEE also provides resources and educational tools for incorporating these practices into educational settings.
- Outdoor Play Canada
Outdoor Play Canada is a national organization that that brings together advocates, practitioners, researchers and partner organizations to promote, protect, and preserve access to play in nature and the outdoors for all people living in Canada. Outdoor Play Canada provides leadership to the outdoor play movement across Canada to promote the health and wellness of for all Canadians and the environments in which we live. Outdoor play canada believe that time spent outside should be part of all Canadians lives every day.
- Outdoor Classrooms Day
Outdoor Classrooms Day provides resources for educators and families to participate in outdoor classrooms day each year and creatively bring the learning from the classroom to our natural environment.
“Consequences of the use of technology in early childhood education”
My name is Sheeza Farrokh and I am a student at Brock university. Completing a degree in BECE. I have already completed my diploma from Sheridan college in 2020 and also have registered in college of ECE back in 2020. I work with kids with autism as a behaviour therapist with ABA with kids. My job is to perform Applied behaviour analysis or speech with autism children age 3-12 or any delayed learning. children.
“Physical activity: Why are children not achieving the bare minimum of movement?”
Tara Dodds is currently attending Brock University in the BECE program as a fourth-year graduating student. I work within the Upper Grand District School Board as an Early Childhood Educator and an Educational Assistant. When I am not working at the school you can find me teaching figure skating at Skate Canada Brampton Chinguacousy.
- The Participaction Report Card
This resource allows parents and guardians to see where children are currently sitting regarding their physical activity versus where they should be. This report card also has several suggestions on how to get children more active.
- The Walking School Bus
This resource would allow parents to gain understanding on what a walking school bus is and how they can create one in their community.
“The effects of bullying and cyber bullying on young children and research informed approaches for schools and classrooms”
Trisha Burton is a fourth-year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECE) student at Brock University. She enjoys spending time outside with her children and her family. Trisha is passionate about becoming a kindergarten teacher where she can empower children to discover their unique potential, grow into confident individuals, and become lifelong learners who make a positive impact in their communities.
- Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center – Classroom Tool kits.
- Stop a Bully, Safe & Anonymous
Canada’s Anti-Bullying Reporting Program & Bullying Statistics.
- The Saidat Show
An empowering motivational speaker. One Person Can Make a Difference, Together We Can Change the World.
- Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
- KiVa Antibullying Program
“The impact of online learning on young children”
Kandeel Ruheel is a graduating student at Brock University from the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Program. She has conducted this thesis in hopes that online learning becomes more accessible and less challenging for all children. Through her passion for teaching children, this thesis came about so that virtual learning can be a more simple, welcoming, and effortless experience for all children.
“Environmental sustainability in early childhood education: Reviewing Canadian ECE curriculum to identify current implementation and explore further practice”
Janet Nailang is a 4th year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education student at Brock University. She has chosen sustainability as the subject of her thesis due to her strong connection with nature and her passion for gardening. She is based in Thailand and intends to apply the knowledge and skills she gains during her studies to her future career as a teacher in an international school
- Sustainable Foundations: A Guide for Teachers
This is a guide for educators with information, resources and supports to teach young people about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- Sustainable Development Goals and Related Resources
This is a website for educators that offers plenty of resources including activities, games, and lesson ideas to implement with children.
- Sustainable Development Goals and STEM
This resource is designed for educators to provide lesson ideas, resources, and suggested activities to promote the Sustainable Development Goals within the classroom.
- Education for Sustainable Development
This document is a wealth of information on the subject of sustainability and offers recommendations for policy makers, directors and educators on the implementation of sustainable practices within the education system.
“Implementation of ECE pedagogies for sustainability”
Juliette HENNEQUIN is a French national who grew up in a small French village of 220 people in northern France. Within their one-room schoolhouse and through the “Pédagogie Freinet”, grade-school children were transformed into autonomous thinkers: exposed at an early age to nature walks, classical composers and the fine arts, farming and the skilled trades, cultures of the world and foreign languages. She is currently studying in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education at Brock University and in May will be starting the French Teacher Education program at the University of Prince Edward Island. She has spent the last three years teaching full-time supply within the French Catholic School Board. She is passionate about sustainability, enjoys teaching children how to become global citizens, and desires to follow the steps of her mentor Antoine SALIDO (Juliette’s One-room Schoolhouse Teacher 1985-1990, St-Crépin-aux-bois, France).
- The outdoor nature program approach of the Kindergarten program at Tawingo College (Huntsville, ON)
- An Early Childhood Education for Sustainability resource that embeds the Sustainable Development Goals and STEM into pedagogical practice
- The sustainability practices of Banksia Park Kindergarten (AU)
- Article on Education for sustainability by Sue Elliot
Krystle Boynton and Amanda Christmas
I’m a mom of a blended family with 5 children, 4 boys and 1 girl! I have been working towardsmy Bachelors of Early Childhood Education since 2021 after successfully graduating from Georgian College. Since 2019, I have been a full-time mom, student, and part-time worker, excited to complete my Bachelors of Early Childhood Education.
I’m a full-time mother, with a blended family. My partner of 8 years and myself have 5 boys and4 girls, plus 3 grandchildren. My path towards Early Childhood Education began back in 2019, and I completed my ECE at Georgian College in 2021; also in 2021, I was accepted to Brock University, and expect to graduate in 2023
- Common Worlds Research Collective
The Common Worlds Research Collective nourishes feminist and anticolonia pedagogical and methodological work that takes up questions for communing, worlding, and inheriting with children in complex contemporary worlds.
- Education for sustainable development
UNESCO explaining the meaning and purpose of sustainable development, what you need to know about education for sustainable development.
- Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations website explaining all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, facts, resources, links and targets all explained throughout.
- Ontario Teachers Federation
Provides useful links and PDFS for Environmental Education.
- Teach SDGs
States the Global Goals for sustainable development, how to join the movement, meet ambassadors, pledge to teach SDGs.
- Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow
A Policy Framework for Environmental Education in Ontario Schools.