A recent article written with Penney Clark and Mona Gleason, “Preschools for science: The Child Study Centre at the University of British Columbia, 1960-1997,” was awarded the 2012 Founders’ Prize by the Canadian History of Education Association! The award winning article can be found in volume 52, Issue #1 of the History of Education Quarterly.
The development of the Child Study Centre (CSC) at UBC provides a unique perspective on the complex and often contradictory relationship between child study and preschool education in postwar Canada. In this article, we detail the development and eventual closure of the CSC at UBC, focusing on the uneasy interdependencies of scientific child study research and the education of preschoolers. Similar to laboratory schools on Canadian campuses, the CSC was a strange hybrid of school and clinic, educational classroom and psychological lab, a place intended to cultivate both cutting edge research and children’s imaginations.