The new facilities for the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study were made possible by generous gifts from Dr. Eric and Sara Jackman, Margaret and Wallace McCain, and an anonymous donor.

Posted on January 31, 2018

More than 400 guests celebrated as the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study—which includes a world-acclaimed pre-school to Grade 6 laboratory school—officially opened its renovated and expanded facility.

“The design of this fabulous new space is far more than beautiful to behold,” said Glen Jones, Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. “As you tour the site you will see that the environment reinforces creative student problem-solving. It is a building for community-building.”

The expanded and renovated building features a new gymnasium, modernized classrooms and an auditorium. Multi-use and public spaces are designed to facilitate community outreach programming, establishing U of T as a global centre of excellence in research-based early human development and childhood education.

Two visionary donations supporting collaborative research

“None of this would be possible without the incredible generosity of Dr. Eric and Sara Jackman (Dr. Jackman donated $5 million) and the Hon. Margaret McCain (Margaret and Wallace McCain donated $3 million), true champions of foundational learning,” Jones said.

“Sara and I are so pleased to support this remarkable place. ICS is devoted to the understanding of early child development, and to enlightening educators and parents alike to the very best child-rearing and educational practices. Healthy, happy, educated children become confident, productive adults. What ICS does is so important for the children, their families and society,” said Dr. Jackman.

The Honourable Margaret McCain, who co-authored three seminal reports on the critical importance of the early years with the late Dr. Fraser Mustard, added, “The collaborative research at JICS that involves students, teachers and scholars will continue to add so much to impacting on better programming and policies across Canada and beyond.”

See more photographs of the Jackman Institute opening ceremony on Facebook.

A record of excellence and leadership

Under the auspices of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, the Jackman Institute is well known for hosting unparalleled collaborations in service of education excellence. As a leader in pedagogical research and early learning, the Jackman Institute was given the 2016 Outstanding Laboratory School Award.

“The Jackman ICS lab school is known for its innovative and integrated approach to applying the latest research evidence to ensuring leading-edge teaching and learning,” said Richard Messina, Principal at the Jackman Institute. “Partnerships among and between students, teachers, parents, professors and diverse community partners are among the keys to its success.”

The Jackman Institute’s Director, Clare Kosnik, also emphasized that “our shared space supports collaboration, mutual learning, and bridging research and practice. This interplay among and between our programs opens up possibilities for learning, growth and fun.”

University of Toronto President Meric Gertler provided important historical context: “The opening of this wonderful complex will reinforce the standing of the Institute and OISE as world leaders in multidisciplinary research and teaching on education. And it will extend the great tradition of leadership in childhood education that began here in 1925, with Dr. William Blatz and his trailblazing work in developmental psychology. That tradition has had a profound influence – on research, on the practice of teaching and on public policy across Ontario and around the world.”

“The Jackman Institute has not only provided an essential place of learning and experience for prospective teachers; it has furthered our understanding of child development, lifting schools here in Toronto and across Canada,” said the University’s Chancellor, the Honourable Michael Wilson.

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