Education Researcher, Changemaker, Ashoka Fellow, Speaker, and Author.
Dr. Lauren McNamara is an award winning education researcher, professor, social entrepreneur, child health advocate, speaker, writer, and Ashoka Fellow. She has over 20 years of experience working with school boards in the U.S. and Canada.
As a speaker and author, she leverages her personal experiences and research to engage, inform, and inspire her audiences to prioritize social connection, equity, inclusion, and well-being in schools.
As an advisor to school boards and partner organizations, she combines her education in Learning Sciences (Northwestern University) and Educational Psychology (SFU) with her research and experience in social change - informing and guiding leaders towards progressive and innovative education practices.
Because children are in school for the majority of their childhood, schools play a critical role in shaping their overall behaviors, mindsets, interactions, and quality of life. Ultimately, social patterns take root in childhood and follow children across their lifespans, influencing learning experiences, school engagement, academic success, and overall health and well-being outcomes. And the effects cascade into the larger social and cultural fabric to shape future relational patterns and collective population health. As a researcher, then, Lauren's strength is her approach: she combines Design Thinking and Collaborative Action Research, leveraging the perspectives of social neuroscience, equity, school engagement, well-being, and educational change. In this way her research and design focuses on optimizing the school based social and physical settings that influence that social patterns of children.