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Lily Dyson

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Lily Dyson is a Professor of Special Education& Educational Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria. Lily teaches special education and human development.
Lily’s research is guided by specific theoretical and philosophical orientations. Based on contextualism and the life span perspective, Lily pursues an interest in understanding developmental contexts and their influence on child development. Her second interest is to experiment with the ecological model of research by conducting research in the real life of the community such as family and school. Threading these theoretical and research orientations is her interest in understanding human adversity and diversity and a greater interest in improving child development under adversity. The areas of adversity Lily has studied and is continuing to study are child disability and poverty.
Lily’s theoretical and philosophical orientations and beliefs have led her to pursue several lines of research. The initial research focus on family and child development in the presence of a child’s disability has earned her an international reputation for descriptive studies of family contexts and for experimental research to improve the family life and sibling relationships. An effort to extend the understanding of human development to the cultural arena resulted in cross-culture research of special education and family contexts. This effort has resulted in the 2004 R.W. B. Jackson Award for “the Most Outstanding English Language Article in the Canadian Journal of Education”, awarded by the Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Lily’s interest has also taken her to study of the context of a child’s disability in the school and to conduct large-scale intervention to promote the social inclusion of children with disabilities. This research endevour was later expanded to the experimental study, recently completed, for the purpose of improving the friendship and inclusion of all children in elementary schools. Lily’s research works and pursuits have been made possible largely through the funding support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the former National Health Research and Development Program (NHRDP) of Health Canada.
Lily’s current research concentrates on child poverty. Consistent with her pattern of research interest and activity with other aspects of child adversity and development, her emphasis now is on understanding the context of development and the effort to hopefully improve the course of development in the face of adversity. Current support from the CLLRNet has been aimed to experimentally test this latter possibility. Based on the ecological model and both the quasi- and the true experimental design, intervention to improve the literacy skill of children in low-income homes is being delivered through home-school-researchers collaboration. Preliminary results indicate the support of the schools and parents for the program and the trend for improving the literacy skills of the participating children.

The language and culture of my heritage is passed on to me orally. it's a different way off learning than how I am taught at school. How do I keep my traditional culture alive while learning to read and being immersed in the majority culture?

Reading is the core of learning and staying in school . improving reading skills with young Aboriginal children can open up the doors to future prospects.

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