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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Science
February 25, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Lab Director: Dr. Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee is a developmental psychologist specializing in language and mathematics development. She joined the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University in July 2006, after receiving her Ph.D. in Language and Cognition from the University of Connecticut.

Her primary research interest focuses on cognitive development in language and mathematics, with the goals of understanding how young children learn different types of words and determining whether the learning process is the same in all languages. One overarching question asked is “How do young children map a word onto a concept, be it an object, an action or even a number?”.

Being multi-lingual (English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Cantonese), she is intrigued by the cognitive and social processes involved in the acquisition of language and mathematics. Via cross-linguistic and bilingual studies, her research covers topics such as:

- cognitive processes in early word learning

- the relationship between early language development and early literacy development

- the role of language (e.g., caregiver’s speech) on mathematical development in young children

- gender differences in mathematical competence

            - the development of number sense in young children

- effective teaching methods and tools for caregivers and educators

Lab Associate: Dr. Donna Kotsopoulos


Donna Kotsopoulos is a former elementary and secondary school teacher of mathematics. She joined the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2007, after earning her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from The University of Western Ontario.

Her primary research interests focuses on the cognitive processes associated with mathematical reasoning. Her research interests in mathematics also include educational neuroscience. For more information go to