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William J. Fowler fonds
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William J. Fowler fonds

  • UTA 1283
  • Fonds
  • 1949-2002

This fonds consists of one accession of personal records of Dr. William J. Fowler, former professor of applied psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, and various US institutions such as University of Chicago, Harvard and Tufts University. The records are an important resource for students of the history of development of child studies in North America. Dr. Fowler, in addition to developing his own theories on early childhood development, was a colleague of several American pioneers in this area, such as Dr. Helen Koch, Dr. Robert Hess, Dr. Alice Honig and Prof. J. McVicker Hunt.

The records are organized into 10 series reflecting a career that spanned more than 40 years, from his days as a graduate student at Harvard and the University of Chicago to his years as a private consultant in his company, Center for Early Learning and Child Care, Inc. Included in this accession is correspondence, manuscripts of both published and unpublished works, teaching materials, research materials, grant proposals and reviews, special project files relating to the joint OISE- Canadian Mothercraft Society of the early 1970’s, and records of the Center for Early Learning and Child Care,Inc.

Original research data with personal identifiers for children as subjects of research were not retained.

Fowler, William J.

Mothercraft –OISE project

In 1968, Dr. Fowler headed up a research team in a joint Canadian Mothercraft Society (CMS) – OISE study to determine the effects of quality child care on disadvantaged children. This two-year joint study formed the basis upon which the Early Childhood Education (ECE) curriculum was written. In particular it involved the development of a model infant day care centre for disadvantaged children from four months to two and one half years of age. It also included a follow up study conducted by Dr. Fowler in 1973-1974.

This series documents this joint study with Mothercraft in general and Dr.Fowler’s role in particular. It includes minutes of meetings of the Board of Mothercraft, and the OISE research staff, correspondence with Mothercraft officials, OISE faculty and staff, municipal, federal and provincial governments, private foundations (like the Atkinson Foundation, Laidlaw Foundation), research proposals, budget and publicity files, papers and progress reports. Also included is the film script for “Joint OISE-Mothercraft Infant Demonstration Program” with text of Dr. Fowler’s commentary (1973).

This series also includes film elements including original negative, sound track and release print to the OISE produced film A Demonstration Program on Infant Care and Education in which Dr. Fowler describes the OISE Infant care and education program and Mothercraft Society with emphasis on learning through play.

Teaching

Dr. Fowler was associated with several universities in the United States and Canada as researcher, administrator and teacher. This series documents his teaching activities from his time as a graduate student and professor at the University of Chicago, through his academic career at OISE and at Tufts University, and in his later career as a consultant. Files contain lecture notes, course materials, and correspondence. He also maintained an ongoing correspondence with many of his students from his years at OISE, providing advice, references and support as they continued their academic careers.