Dr. Stuart Shanker

Founder, Science Director and vision behind the Self Regulation Institute.

Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Psychology, internationally celebrated speaker, thinker, and writer, Dr. Stuart Shanker is one of the world’s leading authorities on self-regulation. Stuart trained intensively in child psychotherapy under Stanley Greenspan; he was the Director of the Milton and Ethel Harris Research Initiative at York University; President of the Canadian Council of Early Child development; Director of the council of Human Development; and has served for many years as an advisor to government and education organizations across Canada and internationally.

Throughout his career, Stuart has researched and studied the role of self-regulation in mental and physical well-being and academic achievement. He has focused on the beneficial role that positive stress plays in children’s development and learning and the worrying effects of excessive negative stress.

Stuart founded SRI, where he currently serves as Science Director to continue his research into self-regulation.

Books by Dr. Stuart Shanker

Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life

There is no such thing as a bad kid. According to world-renowned researcher Stuart Shanker, even the most frustrating, annoying or troubling behaviour has an explanation. That means there is a way to make things better.

Shanker’s research has shown that for every child and every adult the ability to thrive–to complete tasks, form friendships, learn, and even love–depends on being able to self-regulate. In the past twenty years neurobiological research has been showing us a lot about brain states, and what is clear now is that the ability to self-regulate in response to stress is central. read more…

Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation

Recent research tells us that one of the keys to student success is self-regulation – the ability to monitor and modify emotions, to focus or shift attention, to control impulses, to tolerate frustration or delay gratification. But can a child’s ability to self-regulate be improved?

Canada’s leading expert on self-regulation, Dr. Stuart Shanker, knows it can and that, as educators, we have an important role to play in helping students’ develop this crucial ability. read more…

The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans

In the childhood of every human being and at the dawn of human history there is an amazing and, until now, unexplained leap from simple genetically programmed behavior to language, symbolic thinking, and culture. In The First Idea, Stanley Greenspan and Stuart Shanker explore this missing link and offer brilliant new insights into two longstanding questions: how human beings first create symbols and how these abilities evolved and were transmitted across generations over millions of years. From fascinating research into the intelligence of both human infants and apes, they identify certain cultural practices that are vitally important if we are to have stable and reflective future societies. read more…

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