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Aurelia Di Santo

Associate Professor
OfficeKHS-363-H, Kerr Hall South
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 554576
Areas of ExpertiseChildren’s rights; Early years curriculum; Quality early childhood environments; Research with children.

Aurelia Di Santo received her MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology and Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto. She joined the School of Early Childhood Studies in 2006. Prior to 2006, Aurelia taught in the school for six years as a contract lecturer. She is the Associate Director for the School of Early Childhood Studies laboratory schools, which include the Early Learning Centre, EarlyON Child and Family Centre, and Every Child Belongs resource consultation program.

Aurelia has extensive work experience in a variety of early childhood settings, ranging from working directly with children to managing early learning and care centres. Her international experience includes working on early childhood development projects in Bolivia, Brazil, and Egypt. Aurelia is a member of Childhood Education International and the Children Rights Academic Network. She is a member of the early childhood advisory committee for iACT, an international humanitarian non-government organization.

  • CLD 111: Curriculum I: Environments
  • CLD 212: Curriculum II: Program Planning
  • CLD 448: Childhood in a Global Context
  • CS 8930: Social Research with Children
  • CS 8936: Children’s Rights

Research interests:

  • Children’s rights.
  • Early childhood education in emergencies.
  • Early years curriculum.
  • Research with children.
  • Transition to school.

Research projects:

  • Children’s rights activities: A guidebook for educators of preschool and kindergarten children
  • Global Citizens Education Program
  • Rights Respecting Schools

Papers in refereed journals:

Chapters in books:

  • Di Santo, A., & Robichaud, B. (2019). Children’s rights: Raising awareness amongst professionals working with and for children. In S. Jagger (Ed.), Early years education and care in Canada: A historical and philosophical overview (pp. 121-142). Canadian Scholars Press.
  • Caplan, R. A., Di Santo, A., & Loomis, C. (2019). Integrating community-based values with a rights-integrative approach to early learning through early childhood curricula. In P. P. Trifonas (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research in cultural studies and education (pp. 241-259). Springer.
  • Robichaud, B., Peltier, S., & Di Santo, A. (2019). Children’s literature: Interconnecting children’s rights and constructions of childhoods through stories. In P. P. Trifonas (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research in cultural studies and education (pp. 559-578). Springer.
  • Johnston, L., Shoemaker, L., Land, N., Di Santo, A., & Jagger, S. (in press). Early childhood education and care in Canada. In G. Noblit (Ed.), Oxford research encyclopedia of education. Oxford University Press.
  • Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children–Children’s Rights Champion Award, 2015–2016
  • Sue Williams Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Community Services, 2011
  • Certificate of Academic Excellence, Canadian Psychological Association, 2007
  • iACT – facts. action. impact. – Spirit Award, 2021