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

Betül Alaca

PhD Candidate 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.

Emily Cowan

MA Student in School and Clinical Child Psychology

e.cowan@mail.utoronto.ca

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 Master of Education at OISE and an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Psychology. Erica has previously worked supporting 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 inclusion of children with disabilities in kindergarten classrooms, the role of play, and the use of play-based learning strategies with this population. Erica's doctoral research is funded by a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Ellen Fesseha

PhD Candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education

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. 

Ellen Kraszewski

EdD Student in Child Study and Education 

ellen.kraszewski@mail.utoronto.ca

Ellen is an EdD student in Child Study and Education at OISE. She previously completed her MA in Child Study and Education at OISE and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies and Sociology at the University of Guelph. Ellen has been working as a certified occasional teacher and long-term occasional teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board since 2016. Ellen is primarily interested in kindergarten students' academic readiness for grade one and navigating Ontario's kindergarten curriculum through a play-based approach. Ellen is also interested in inquiry and the arts as tools for early learning in kindergarten, early literacy, and equitable access to appropriate resources and technology for students with special needs in the kindergarten classroom. 

Lisa Lalonde

PhD Student in Developmental Psychology and Education

lml.lalonde@mail.utoronto.ca

Lisa is a PhD student in the School of Developmental Psychology and Education at the University of Toronto, OISE. Her research and professional interests focus on pedagogical approaches to practice in the early learning sector. Lisa is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and is both the Coordinator and a professor in the Bachelor of Early Learning and Community Development degree at Algonquin College.

Allison McCann

EdD Student in Child Study and Education

allison.mccann@mail.utoronto.ca

Allison McCann is a Doctorate of Education Student in Child Study and Education at the University of Toronto, where she also completed a Master of Arts in Child Study and Education. Allison worked to design, and currently leads, a play-based kindergarten program in Vancouver, BC. Her work to design the program has inspired her research interests in assessment of play-based learning and the impacts of play on children’s learning and development.

Hanna Wickstrom

PhD Candidate in Developmental Psychology and Education 

hanna.wickstrom@mail.utoronto.ca

Hanna is a PhD Candidate 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's research explores kindergarten educators' integration of mathematics and play-based learning, with a particular focus on educators' enactment of guided play to support academic learning. Hanna is also a former permanent elementary teacher and currently works as an occasional teacher for the Simcoe County District School Board. Hanna's research is funded by a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Assistants/Volunteers

Alexandra Clark
Marsha Marzouca
Theodora Tang

Volunteer

Volunteer

Lab Intern

Past Members

Ashley Bigelow

Sarah Cheng

Alex Clark

Olivia Gross

Fabienne Hargreaves

Alison Ho

Ulrica Jobe

Katie Kovacs

Katrina Palad

Daniel Poliszczuk

Jessica Prioletta

Lauren Rzepecki

Janani Selvachandran

Carly Silberberg

Nikki Vanhaarlem

Bonnie Yuen

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