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Faculty Profiles

Melanie Viglas

Melanie Viglas

Professor, Early Childhood Leadership Degree program


Contact Info: x:2639

Melanie Viglas is a professor in the Early Childhood Education program at Sheridan College. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from McGill University as well as an M.A. in Child Studies and Education, and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in Education (Early Learning Cohort) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. She is a registered teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and a registered early childhood educator (RECE). She also holds several certifications in areas related to mindfulness and self-compassion.

Melanie began her career teaching kindergarten in the Toronto District School Board. This experience inspired her dissertation research, which involved delivering an age-appropriate, mindfulness-based program in Full Day Kindergarten classrooms to improve children's self-regulation and prosocial behaviours. She has had the opportunity to present this research and deliver workshops on the topic for various organizations and events including a talk on Mindfulness and Education for the Asian Heritage Month Education Roundtable at York University, an experiential workshop on Mindful Parenting for the Oakville-Parent Child Centre (OPCC) and a presentation on Mindfulness and Wellbeing for the Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development at OISE.

For the last several years Melanie has been teaching at the post-secondary level in various institutions. In addition to teaching in the ECE program at Sheridan College, she has taught in the ECE program at Humber College, the B.Ed. program at OISE, as well as the International Foundation Program and the Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program at New College, University of Toronto. Over the years, Melanie has introduced mindfulness to hundreds of students, ranging from young learners in elementary schools to adult learners in post-secondary education. She also served as the coordinator for the Toronto Mindful Families and Schools group and was awarded the Senior Doctoral Fellowship Award for her graduate work in mindfulness and education. Melanie has also contributed a chapter called "Exploring Play and Mindfulness in Early Childhood" in John P. Miller's latest book entitled Teaching from the Thinking Heart: The Practice of Holistic Education.

Melanie has a strong interest in and commitment to student wellbeing.  She uses meditation and other mindfulness practices in the classroom to help her students discover the power of stillness, awareness, reflection and self-compassion. As such, she is currently seeking research opportunities to explore how infusing mindfulness into the curriculum in the ECE program can be beneficial to students' wellbeing and potentially increase the quality of their interactions with the children in their care.