Early Childhood Learning

Early Childhood Learning

At the Werklund School, we are researching strategies to better understand and improve young children's learning and development as a foundation critical for continued prosperity throughout their schooling.

New UCalgary resource helps Canadian K-12 teachers bring Indigenous storytelling into the classroom

Indigenous Literatures for Learning

Interactive website project led by Werklund School scholars sought broad input from a diverse team of educators with connections to diverse communities

Meet our experts

  • Maren Aukerman
  • Michelle Arlene Drefs
  • Kimberly Lenters
  • Ronna Mosher
  • Cynthia Prasow
  • Xu Zhao
  • Child and youth mental health
  • Children's literature
  • Early childhood education
  • Early mathematics development
  • Second language teaching and learning

Research topics:

Researchers at the Werklund School are addressing how curriculum can transform ways of thinking about schooling, knowledge, and teaching and learning, while encompassing issues of content, context and teaching in both formal and non-formal educational settings. 

At the Werklund School, we are researching strategies to better understand and improve young children's learning and development as a foundation critical for continued prosperity throughout their schooling.

Werklund researchers are fostering more diverse learning communities through addressing challenges in and outside of schools, and sharing the voices of the students, teachers, school psychologists and counselling psychologists working to eradicate conditions that have historically marginalized vulnerable populations.

Werklund School researchers are re-examining the methods and theories that have shaped teaching and learning for generations, while historically marginalizing Indigenous people and perspectives. Today,  many of our scholars are working towards a curriculum in which all people belong. In their research, they are incorporating different ways of knowing, being and doing, all essential to the process of decolonizing and Indigenizing education.

Researchers at Werklund are exploring communication through the multi-faceted dimensions of literacy, and linguistic and cultural diversity, especially as they relate to different forms of expression, including print, visual, oral, and gestural texts, as well as new literacies and digital media.

Leadership researchers at the Werklund School are analysing and resolving educational policy and leadership issues specifically related to the direction and management of schools, school systems, post-secondary institutions, and both governmental bodies as well as non-governmental organizations concerned with public and private education.

At Werklund, researchers are advancing the holistic needs of children, ensuring they thrive from child to adolescent and into emergent adult, in their schools, homes and communities at large. From early learning, to social emotional learning, and in consideration of neurodiversity, researchers are redefining how teachers, school psychologists and counselling psychologists support lifelong learners.

Werklund School researchers are doing pioneering work in the area of neurodiversity, studying developmental cognitive neuroscience, neurodevelopmental disorders, early experience and brain development.

Researchers at Werklund are exploring the relationships between education and economic, political and cultural systems, as they seek new ways to understand and address social and economic inequality, gender and race relations, multiculturalism, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, sustainability, globalization and colonialism.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are among the foundational building blocks of education. At Werklund, researchers are reimagining these core subjects while developing teaching and learning initiatives that are responsive to and reflective of the rapid changes requiring societies to be more nimble and adaptable.

Read more stories on Early Childhood Learning

Soil Camp

Students get their hands dirty at Soil Camp

Community partnership provides opportunities for refugee students to connect with the land

Kids playing cards

Math challenges? A school psychologist could help

Children’s perspectives on math develop at a very young age and have longstanding effects, so it matters that families and teachers promote positive engagement with math skills.

Child with crayon

Writing and reading starts with children’s hands-on play

Unparalleled versatility in the design of the human hand, and the hand's connections with the brain, lie behind how children learn to read and write.

Reading struggles

Reading struggles? Don’t wait to advocate for your child

Gabrielle Wilcox, Werklund School of Education, writes in Conversation Canada about how to best teach children to read.

Parent reading to child

7 ‘read-aloud’ tips for parents to help prevent children’s COVID-19 pandemic learning loss

A holistic approach to growing children’s vocabulary could mean reading children stories about bears from fairy tales, science books and the news, writes Hetty Roessingh, Werklund School of Education.

Child looking out window

Large classes make it hard to notice ‘off-task’ kids with bigger questions

Grade 4 student Charlene seemed chronically off-task -- until an educator noticed she was, in fact, the sole student pursuing the question, 'Was the oil boom bad for our wildlife?'


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