“If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” Kurt Lewin
Lauren McNamara, PhD
Researcher, Changemaker, CEO and Founder
Lauren holds a PhD in the Psychology of Education from Simon Fraser University and an MA in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. After years of exploring the role of cognition, learning, motivation and technology, she has turned her attention to peer relationships at school.
Friendships and patterns of interactions influence children's mental health, well-being, overall health trajectories, school engagement, and quality of life. In response to the challenges that children, parents and teachers experience surrounding playground culture each and every day, she developed the Recess Project.
The Recess Project is an action research project. The objective of action research is to simultaneously change and improve circumstances while studying them. It is an ongoing cyclic process of research, design, intervention and reflection. The purpose is to leverage resources and knowledge of a network of community partners to change maladaptive patterns and drive social change. The researcher's role is to ensure that the process is informed by scholarly research and theoretical consideration.
The partnership team, funded by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, has has been diligently immersed in this exploration for the last five years. We invite you to explore the site to see what we have discovered.