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Judtih Bernard

Judith Bernhard

Phone416-979-5000 ext. 557507
Areas of ExpertisePrecarious migration status; Migrant and refugee family interventions; Latinos in the educational system; Cross-cultural early childhood development.

I am a tenured Full Professor with over 25 years of university teaching and research experience in the areas of diverse children and families in early childhood education settings. Along with my colleagues at Toronto Metropolitan University, we set up the MA program in Early Childhood Studies, and I am also affiliated with the MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies. `

Three of my interdisciplinary projects: The first is a critique of the view that the stages of child development described in standard text-books are universally (cross-culturally) valid. My work examines styles of parenting, degree of child dependence on the parents, methods of discipline, where common approaches assume Western norms are universally applicable, resulting in children being labelled as in need of remedial programs. My second research area explores migrant and refugee families with precarious legal status (e.g., a parent facing deportation) and how they may be empowered to deal successfully with the educational system. Finally, my third area is supporting bilingualism, helping parent and teacher groups with interventions inspired by methods from the Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

  • Cross-Cultural Child Development
  • Families and Educational Equity
  • Cognitive Development
  • Human Development
  • Field Supervision


  • Bernhard, J. K. (2012). Stand together or fall apart: Professionals working with immigrant families. Fernwood Publications.

Journals articles:

  • Sarwan Sahota Toronto Metropolitan University Distinguished Scholar Award
  • Lifetime achievement award, George Brown/OISE Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development.
  • Advisor, Early Learning and Care Expert Panel, Ontario Ministry of Ministry of Children & Youth Services, Strategic Initiatives Branch.
  • Toronto Metropolitan University Research Award.
  • Fulbright Foundation, International Scholar.