Meet the Team

Angela Pyle

Dr. Pyle is interested in child development and early primary education. Her research primarily explores the negotiated balance between academic learning and developmentally appropriate practices in classrooms. Within this area, Dr. Pyle focuses on the role of teacher curricular stance in pedagogical decision-making, how children develop critical literacy skills through play-based learning, and how teachers’ assessment practices support and extend children’s learning in play-based contexts. As part of this research stream, Dr. Pyle is interested in methods for including young children’s voices in research about their learning and explores methods that are developmentally appropriate for researching with kindergarten-aged children.

Current Members

Erica Danniels

PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education 

erica.danniels@mail.utoronto.ca

Erica Danniels is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE. She previously completed her Masters of Education at OISE and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Psychology. Since 2009, Erica has been working with children with developmental disabilities and other exceptionalities in a variety of roles, including as an Instructor Therapist, Child and Youth Worker, and Educational Assistant. Her primary research interests address the integration of children with disabilities in kindergarten classrooms, the role of play, and the use of play-based learning strategies with this population.

Ellen Fesseha

PhD candidate in DPE program

ellen.fesseha@mail.utoronto.ca

Ellen is a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education at OISE. She previously completed her Master of Arts in Child Study and Education also at OISE, where she earned her elementary teaching certification. She has been working as an occasional teacher with the Toronto District School Board since 2015. Influenced by her experiences teaching and mentoring underprivileged students of colour, her primary research interests are in how cultural perspectives of play-based learning impact play-behaviours in kindergarten. She is also interested in educators' conceptualizations of play-based learning, and how that translates into instruction. 

Hanna Wickstrom

PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education 

hanna.wickstrom@mail.utoronto.ca

Hanna is a PhD student in Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto, OISE, where she also completed a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education. Hanna is a former permanent elementary teacher, specializing in early years and primary education. She currently works as an occasional teacher for the Simcoe County District School Board. Hanna’s research interests are influenced by her experience as a classroom teacher, as she explores the relation between teachers’ beliefs and pedagogies with respect to teaching mathematics in play-based programming. Hanna is dedicated to keeping the interests of teachers and children at the forefront of her studies by exploring ways to include their voices in research.

Betül Alaca

PhD student in School and Clinical Child Psychology

betul.alaca@mail.utoronto.ca

Betül Alaca is a PhD student in School and Clinical Child Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Her research and professional interests focus on the use of culturally responsive teaching and therapy practices with children, and the inclusion of children's perspectives in research. Betül's doctoral research is funded by a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Jessica Prioletta

 PhD candidate in Social Justice Education & Women and Gender Studies

betul.alaca@mail.utoronto.ca

Jessica Prioletta is a PhD candidate in the Social Justice Education and Women and Gender Studies collaborative program at the University of Toronto, OISE. Jessica’s doctoral research examines gender relations in play-based learning contexts in Ontario. Her work is influenced by her teaching experiences in early childhood settings. Jessica’s recent publications focus on gender issues in play at school. Specifically, she examines the role of gender in the play-literacy interface in Ontario kindergarten classrooms and the perpetuation of gender inequalities in play in Montréal preschool classrooms. Jessica is the director of membership for the Canadian Association for the Study of Women and Education (CASWE).

We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.

ADDRESS

 

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

© 2020 by Play Learning Lab