Alice-Simone Balter

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition

Research Interests: Sexuality, sexuality education in early childhood, social justice education, pre- and post-service education, curriculum development, social emotional competencies (emotion regulation, mindfulness), mental health, emotion socialization, critical disability studies.

I have two main areas of research in which the common thread to my work is supporting and increasing educators' capacities to promote child and youth health and well-being.

  1. I am engaged in sexuality research, specifically sexuality education in early childhood as a means of body knowledge, sexual abuse prevention, and as social justice education. I am interested in increasing educators' abilities to address sexuality in early childhood.
  2. I am interested in the "contemplative turn in education" (Ergas, 2018) which focuses on educators' first-person subjectivities. My doctoral research examined Kindergarten educator's social emotional competencies - specifically emotion regulation, dispositional mindfulness, and contingent responding to children's negative emotions - which are critical abilities that contribute to educators' mental health and well-being and impact how educators socialize children's emotional development.
  • PhD, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Developmental Psychology & Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. 2016-2020
  • MA, Family Studies (now Sociology Department). University of British Columbia. 2003-2005

Davies, A.W.J., Balter, A., & van Rhijn, T. (in press). Sexuality education and early childhood educators in Ontario, Canada: A Foucauldian exploration of constraints and possibilities. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood.

Underwood, K., van Rhijn, T., Balter, A., Feltham, L., Douglas, P., Parekh, G., & Lawrence, B. (2021). Pandemic effects: Ableism, exclusion, and procedural bias. Journal of Childhood Studies, 46(3), 16-29.

Balter, A., van Rhijn, T., Gores, D., Davies, A.W.J., & Akers, T. (2021). Supporting the development of sexuality in early childhood: the rationales and barriers to sexuality education in early learning settings. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. Advanced Online Publication. https://doi.org10.3138/cjhs.2021-0034.

Davies, A.W.J., Balter, A., van Rhijn, T., Spracklin, J., Maich, K., & Soud, R. (2021). Sexuality education for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder in Canada. Intervention in School and Clinic. Advanced Online Publication.

Balter, A., Gores, D., van Rhijn, T., Katz, J., Kassies, I., Gleason, & Joseph, J. (2021). An outcome evaluation of a sexuality education professional development opportunity for early learning professionals. eceLINK, 5(1), 18-32.

Balter, A., van Rhijn, T., & Davies, A.W.J. (2018). Equipping early childhood educators to support the development of sexuality in childhood: Identification of pre- and post-service training needs. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 27(1), 33-42.

Balter, A., van Rhijn, T, Davies, A. (2016). Sexual and gender development in early learning settings: An exploration of Ontario Early Childhood Educator’s (ECEs) perspectives. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 25(1), 30-40.

I maintain a collection on the University of Guelph's institutional repository to promote open access to my work:

Alice-Simone Balter's collection on The Atrium

I am currently working on the Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project.

An investigation of expert perspectives on developmentally appropriate sexuality education in the early years (University of Guelph-Humber Research Grant Fund; PI; Co-PI Tricia van Rhijn, University of Guelph-Humber; 2020-2021)

A community-engaged outcome evaluation of Toronto Public Health’s Raising Sexually Healthy Children for Child Care Providers program (University of Guelph-Humber Research Grant Fund; PI; Co-PI Tricia van Rhijn, University of Guelph-Humber; 2016-2018)

A qualitative exploration of best practices to support teachers' mental health capacity (University of Guelph-Humber Research Grant Fund; PI; Co-PI Susan Rodger, 2015-2016)

An exploration of early childhood educator's (ECEs) attitudes, knowledge, and comfort-level addressing the development of sexuality in childhood (University of Guelph-Humber Research Grant Fund; PI; Co-PI Tricia van Rhijn, University of Guelph-Humber, 2014-2015)