About the IHDW

Welcome from the Director of the IHDW

It is with great enthusiasm that I welcome you to the McGill Institute for Human Development and Well-being, a transdisciplinary unit led by the Faculty of Education. The driving force behind the creation of the Institute was a recognition of the importance of fostering research, training/teaching, and collaboration amongst researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, schools and communities with an active interest in the development and well-being of the human individual from a transdisciplinary perspective and one which takes account of intersectionality as a theoretical position. Thus, paying close attention to issues of gender, race, class, disability, and sexuality, this framework includes the study of the development of the individual across the lifespan, of the individual’s ongoing transactions with his or her environment, and the role that society can play in facilitating development and well-being.

We are optimistic about the possibilities for collaboration with communities, policy makers and researchers across a variety of disciplinary areas and in a variety of social contexts and across local, national and international settings.  We subscribe to the idea that the critical issues facing societies today are ones that start with an understanding of the significance of the role of well-being and of the significance of human development as an approach. As Amartrya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Prize winner in Economics commented: “Human development as an approach, deals with what I consider the basic development idea: namely, increasing the richness of human life rather than the wealth of the economy in which human beings live, which is only part of  life itself.” As an Institute concerned with the human condition, we are committed to the study of human development and well-being as framed by a concern for equity and social justice.

My thanks to those who have supported the establishment of this Institute, and in particular my colleagues in the Faculty of Education who have worked so hard from the very beginning to launch the idea of the Institute. 

Prof. Claudia Mitchell

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