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About

I am a full professor in the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University, and a former Fulbright scholar. A number of prestigious awards have marked my career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the OISE/George Brown Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development and the Ryerson University Research Award.  As an advisory member, I have served on the Early Learning and Care Expert Panel for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Strategic Initiatives Branch. Myself a Latin American immigrant to Canada, I experienced firsthand the challenges of students and their families and have devoted a lifetime to finding pedagogies that demystify the educational system and empower families and teachers to build on students’ potential.

Currently, I am an affiliate of CERIS, the Ontario Metropolis Centre, a network of researchers, policymakers and practitioners working in the field of immigration and settlement, a fellow at the Centre for Research on Latin American and Refugee Studies at York University, and an affiliate of the Ryerson Centre on Immigration and Settlement.

My PhD in Education (University of Toronto) focused on the challenges of educating young girls in technology as well as issues of measurement and assessment of children in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

In my professional work at Ryerson University, I helped develop its programs including founding and directing the M.A. program in Early Childhood Studies focusing on diversity, home language maintenance, bilingual and bicultural issues.  My teaching experience comprises a number of courses in the program.

During these years, a highlight was my being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at Florida Atlantic University in a program specializing in teacher training and the adaptation issues of Latino students.  For more on Research-based Teacher Education for Multicultural Contexts please see…

https://eric.ed.gov/?q=Judith+bernhard&id=EJ719122, external link

To read other outputs from this project please see…Honouring Diversity in Early Childhood Education …

http://digital.library.ryerson.ca/islandora/object/RULA%3A210/datastream/OBJ/view

And for Institutionalized Disadvantage in Education please see…

https://digital.library.ryerson.ca/islandora/object/RULA%3A15

To read about Teaching Human Development with a Cultural Contextual Perspective please see…

https://digital.library.ryerson.ca/islandora/object/RULA%3A18

In the same period, there were invitations to speak from institutions in a dozen countries around the world including Cuba, Chile, The Netherlands, Aruba, United States and England. My published work includes a number of peer reviewed articles; books include Stand Together or Fall Apart: Professionals Working with Immigrant Families (Fernwood Publishing, 2012), intended for students and professionals working with immigrant families.

Please see book details at…

https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/stand-together-or-fall-apart, external link

For health reasons, I suspended teaching and academic responsibilities at Ryerson from 2011 to the present. More recently, I continue to be affiliated with two MA programs at Ryerson University (Immigration and Settlement Studies, and Early Childhood Studies).

  • Issues of cultural diversity in human development
  • Methods of ethnographic study with immigrant communities
  • Schooling for disadvantaged groups
  • Refugee educational assessment and welfare
  • Intersectionality in experiences of minorities--race, aboriginal status, class and gender
  • Assessment of childcare centres: Program design for home-language maintenance