Investment in early childhood is a moral imperative that also saves society from 7 to 14 dollars for every dollar spent (Heckman). This realization along with newfound governmental interest in preschool education in quality Head Start program has put early childhood on center stage. Research has followed pace and we have been privileged to be a part of that new wave. As a co-investigator on the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development from 1991-2004, our lab at Temple University was part of one of the most expansive studies of early child care and child development in context. This study, enrolling 1364 children across America is considered by many to be a gold standard within psychological research.
Our work in early education produced research on early literacy and early spatial learning and sparked other work in our lab on literacy, mathematics, assessment, and on the kinds of learning that can take place in informal settings like museums (Song et al., 2017; Hassinger-Das et al., 2017). Current research in our laboratory is directly investigating the role of guided or playful learning on child outcomes. Research in these areas demonstrates the exciting interplay between science and practice. For example, one recent paper suggests that play might help us set a mindset (what we call a mis en place) for learning that helps us pay more attention to what we are learning and to stay on task as we are learning (Weisberg, Hirsh-Pasek, Golinkoff and McCandless, 2014).
Our translational work on early education will be presented in our forthcoming book Becoming Brilliant in the 21st Century: The 6Cs (APA Press) that features the 6Cs (collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence) as a set of skills that will foster global outcomes needed for success in the 21st Century Global world (Golinkoff & Hirsh-Pasek, 2016). First introduced in a Mandate for playful learning in preschool (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2009), the 6Cs offer a systematic and evidence-based way of rethinking education for our time. We are asking how research from the science of learning might help us put the education back in “educational” apps (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015). A brief review of Becoming Brilliant appears in an NPR interview, A Plan for Raising Brilliant Kids, According to Science, by Anya Kamenetz.
In her new book, The Importance of Being Little, Erika Christakis’ “preschool paradox” suggests a misalignment between what we offer young children and what they really need. If children have “limitless capacity to learn in all environments,” she writes, “why should we settle for unimaginative goals … like being able to identify triangles and squares, or recalling the names of colors and seasons?”
Research demonstrates that guided play can help preschool children prepare for reading and math better than free play and direct instruction alone.
Multilingualism is an international fact of life and increasing in the United States. Multilingual families are exceedingly diverse, and policies relevant to them should take this into account. The quantity and quality of a child’s exposure to responsive conversation spoken by fluent adults predicts both monolingual and multilingual language and literacy achievement.
Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Grob, R. & Schlesinger, M. (2017) “Oh the places you’ll go” by bringing developmental science into the world. Child Development, 1403-1408.
Grob, R., Schleisinger, M., Pace, A., Hirsh-Pasek, K and Golinkoff, R.M. (2017) Playing with ideas: Evaluating a collective experimental intervention designed to enrich perceptions of play. Child Development, 1419-1434.
Hassinger-Das, B., Toub, T. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2017). A matter of principle: Applying language science to the classroom and beyond. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 3, 5-18. doi: 10.1037/tps0000085
Golinkoff, R. & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016) Becoming Brilliant: What science teaches us about raising successful children APA Press.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2016) The preschool paradox: It’s time to rethink our approach to early education. SCIENCE, 351, 1158.
Morhring, W. Ramsook, K. Hirsh-Pasek, K. Golinkoff, R.M., Newcombe, N. (2016) Where music meets space: Children’s sensitivity to continuous pitch magnitudes is related to mental spatial transformations. Cognition, 151, 1-5
Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2016). Two missions in search of a shared culture. In D. Sobel & J. Jipson (Eds.) Cognitive development in museum settings: Relating research and practice. NY:Routledge, pp. 222-230.
Hirsh-Pasek, K., Zosh, J., Golinkoff, R.M. Gray, J., Robb, M., and Kaufman, J. (2015) Putting education in educational apps: Lesson for the science of learning. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16,1, 3-34.
Weisberg, D. S., Kittredge, A. K., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & Klahr, D. (2015). Guided play: Making play work for education. Phi Beta Kappan. 96, 8, 8-13.
Verdine, B.N., Lucca, K.R., Golinkoff, R. M., Newcombe, N.S., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2015) The shape of things: The origin of young children’s knowledge of the names and properties of geometric forms. Journal of Cognition and Development. 12, 315-331
Verdine, B., Irwin, C., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2014) Contributions of Executive Function and a New Test of Spatial-Geometric Skill to Preschool Mathematics Achievement. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 126, 37-51.
Verdine, B., Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Newcombe, N. (2014) Finding the missing piece: Blocks, puzzles, and shapes fuel school readiness. Trends in Neuroscience and Education. 7-13
Weisberg, D., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., McCandliss, B. (2014) Mis en place: Setting the stage for thought and action. Trends in Cognition. 276-278.
Friedman, S., Scholnick, E., Bender, R., Vandergift, N., Spieker. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Keating, D., Park, Y. & NICHD ECCRN (2014). The Growth of Planning in Middle Childhood: Early Predictors and Later Outcomes. Child Development. 1446-1460
McCabe, A, Tamis-LeMonda, C.,Bornstein, M.,Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Hoff, E.,Kuchiro, Y., Melzi, G.,Mendelson, A., Paez, M., Song, L., Wishard, A. (2013) Multilingual children: Beyond myths towards best practices. Social Policy Report. Society for Research in Child Development. 27,4
Weisberg, D., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., McCandliss, B. (2014) Mis en place: Setting the stage for thought and action. Trends in Cognition. 276-278 click here
Hirsh-Pasek, K. Bruer, J. (2007) The Brain/Education Barrier. Science, 317, 1293 click here
NICHD, ECCRN (2005) Pathways to reading. The role of oral language in learning to read. Developmental Psychology. 41, 2, 428-442 click here
Hirsh-Pasek, K., Kochanoff, A., Newcombe, N., & deVilliers, J. (2005) Using scientific knowledge to inform preschoolers: Making the case for “Empirical validity.” Social Policy Report. Society for Research in Child Development click here
Kochanoff, A., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Newcombe, N., & Weinraub, M. Using science to inform preschool assessment. CIRLC Report from Temple University Forum, January, 2003 click here