The Early Childhood Cognitive Sensitivity Study

This study aims to improve the cognitive sensitivity of educators in ECE settings through an innovative model of professional learning developed by the researchers.

Specific objectives of this model are to:

1) Examine the effects of a brief educator responsivity intervention on the quality of educator-child interactions in a child-care environment

2) Examine the effects of the intervention on the overall quality of the child-care environment

Key Components



  • Group training on cognitive sensitivity for educators and supervisors followed by four collaborative coaching sessions held online or at the centre.

Classroom Measures


The following measures were applied in the experimental and control groups.

  • Measures included the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), Assessment for Quality Improvement-City of Toronto (AQI) and the Cognitive Sensitivity Measure.

  • Measures were collected pre- and post- training to evaluate impact of intervention.



  • ​The research participants’ interactions were filmed and utilized during the coaching sessions.

Project Update

The Cognitive Sensitivity Study has completed initial data collection and the research team is undertaking data analysis. The study had a total of 72 educator participants across two waves of data collection.

Preliminary results from exit interviews indicate that educators found that the study helped them focus on the importance of both socio-emotional development and meaningful cognitive interactions with children.  The training also provided an opportunity for deep self-reflection on their practice.

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Dr. Zeenat Janmohamed