Dr. Jean Clinton of McMaster University has been appointed as one of four renowned experts to advise the Ontario government on bold reforms to the province's publicly funded education system.
The associate clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine is a specialist in child psychiatry. Her expertise is in the development of young minds and she is recognized internationally as an advocate for children's issues.
Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education In Ontario is the report outlining the government's plan to build on past achievements in education and move forward with ambitious new goals. These goals include achieving excellence; ensuring equity; promoting well-being; enhancing public confidence; an increased focus on 21st century teaching and learning skills; modernizing early learning and child care; and improving math achievement.
"Brains are sculpted by experiences and connections," said Clinton. "The new reforms will support this by focusing on children's natural competence and capacity for learning, curiosity and desire to explore and learn about their world in the earliest years of schooling, while still maintaining high expectations."
Clinton has worked extensively with public and non-profit health initiatives to develop strategies to improve infant and child development in Hamilton and across the province. Her focus is on providing stimulating environments and positive relationships to foster healthy brain development in babies.
Clinton said that with the government's plan: "There is also an intentional focus on well-being, which reflects what the science has been telling us for so long … teachers matter and the relationships they form with children and young people is essential to an optimal learning and healthy environment."
About the appointments, Education Minister Liz Sandals said: "Our renewed vision for education is based on the advice of thousands of Ontarians. By enlisting the expertise of these four education advisors, we continue to seek the best advice for the best results as we turn our vision into action.
The other special advisors include two professors from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and a specialist from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.