The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Michelle Scott has appointed Dr Stuart Shanker, one of Canada’s foremost child development specialists, as the 2012 Thinker in Residence.
Dr Shanker is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at York University and Director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative (MEHRI), a state-of-the-art cognitive and social neuroscience centre at York University in Toronto.
For the past 10 years he has been Director of the Council of Human Development as well as an advisor to governments in Canada, the US, Australia and elsewhere on early childhood development.
Dr Shanker was educated at Oxford where he obtained a First in Philosophy Politics and Economics and won the Marian Buck Fellowship at Christ Church. He went on to obtain a First in a Bachelor of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy with Distinction in Philosophy.
Dr Shanker has received many awards throughout his academic career including a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship and Postdoctoral Fellowship; a Calgary Institute for the Humanities Fellowship; a University of Alberta Mactaggart Fellowship; an Iszaak Walton Killam Fellowship; and the Walter L Gordon Fellowship at York University.
He has received many grants to develop and implement early childhood programs, among them a $5,000,000 grant from the Harris Steel Foundation and $2,000,000 from the Harris Family to establish MEHRI.