Dr. Stuart Shanker
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 wellbeing 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.
Brenda Smith-Chant, Ph.D
Director of Research
Brenda began her career as a research expert by examining how kids learn to count. This important research lead to work with Peel Public Health on the transition to parenthood, publishing research findings on early numeracy and literacy, and work with multiple community-action research projects, such as the CARA Project (Community Aboriginal Recreation Activators) and Best Start community pilot projects. For Brenda, self-regulation is directly connected to her research in cognitive development as it lead her to look at the social, educational, cultural, language, and parenting influences on children’s thinking development. In addition to her research, Brenda was a foster parent. She began to see the damaging effects of trauma, stress, and anxiety on her foster children, and how feelings of safety allowed them to blossom. These two areas, research into early learning and foster parenting, have combined under Dr. Shanker’s guidance to inform Brenda’s self-regulation work.
Brenda also serves as a member of the board of directors of SRI. For Brenda’s complete bio, please visit our board of directors page.