Kathy is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in Psychology at Temple University and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  Director of Temple University’s Infant Language Laboratory, Kathy is the recipient of the Simms/Mann Whole Child Award, the AERA Outstanding Public Communication for Education Research Award, American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the American Psychological Society’s James McKeen Cattell Award for “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research,” the Society for Research in Child Development Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, and the Temple University Great Teacher Award and University Eberman Research Award.  She was a finalist for 2013 Best Professor of the year for the American Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Bammy Awards.
Guided play advances cognitive skills like language and reading, as well as social skills like emotion regulation.
In the last 20 years, advances in the sciences of infant development have allowed us to view the processes of early word learning for the first time.
Investment in early childhood is a moral imperative that also saves society from 7 to 14 dollars for every dollar spent.
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DR. KATHY HIRSH-PASEK

Kathy is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in Psychology at Temple University and is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  Director of Temple University’s Infant Language Laboratory, Kathy is the recipient of the Simms/Mann Whole Child Award, the AERA Outstanding Public Communication for Education Research Award, American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the American Psychological Society’s James McKeen Cattell Award for “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research,” the Society for Research in Child Development Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, and the Temple University Great Teacher Award and University Eberman Research Award.  She was a finalist for 2013 Best Professor of the year for the American Academy of Education Arts and Sciences Bammy Awards.

  • “Should schools reopen? Balancing COVID-19 and learning loss for young children” – Brookings

    Universal prescriptions or mandates for in-school learning this fall are misguided and unrealistic. Sadly, there is no risk-free decision about school reopening: Decisionmakers must balance the risks of children contracting and/or spreading COVID-19 with counteracting risks of children falling academically behind and being deprived of social relationships from in-school learning. Read More…

  • “Progress on social mobility takes more than two viewpoints” – Brookings

    A recent article in the Economist positioned the debate on social mobility in the United States with two leading economic views as fully representative. One view, grounded in dozens of analyses by Raj Chetty and colleagues of large administrative data, is that neighborhoods and place have an outsized influence in interfering with social mobility… The other, grounded in analyses of evaluations of early childhood programs by James Heckman, is that children’s early learning environments—whether at home or in nonparental settings—have an outsized influence in shaping social mobility. This view points to the value of public investment in high-quality early education interventions, including home visiting but also preschool. These views—and the effort to present them as contradictions—are mostly right and also almost entirely wrong. What is mostly right? Read More…

  • “Why the way our children watch screens matters” – BBC

    Screen time for school-aged children decreases their ability to imagine the world, or the so-called ‘mental imagery’ skills. But as Melissa Hogenboom explores, we have the ability to help them be more creative by encouraging play. Kathy also talked about screentime and play in this video…. Watch Here…

  • Best Life: “Avoiding the COVID-19 student slump” – WMC Action News 5

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Nice article on tips that could make #distancelearning work. Got any celebs around? #onlinelearning https://t.co/lzujBTlMpi
@ahnjune @Bustamante_AS In fact, we are hiring two postdocs -- one through Temple University -- for the same projec… https://t.co/81w3D8pC0f

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Kathy's work appears in news publications around the world.
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  • “Schools Strive for Screen Time Balance in a Complex Equation” – EdTech

    What’s the right balance between screen time and digital equity? Researchers and K-12 educators grapple with the complex landscape of educational technology and access. Amy Burroughs spoke to  four experts to share their views about screen time:  Peter Bezanson, CEO of BASIS Educational Ventures; Nicol Turner Lee, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology […]

    Read full story >
  • Best Life: “Avoiding the COVID-19 student slump” – WMC Action News 5

    Millions of kids nationwide are spending hours at home now completing lessons online at their own pace or in virtual class settings. But could this interruption in traditional learning lead to a significant loss in skills? Kathy spoke about the “COVID slump” and how parents and teachers can help their children and students…Read and Watch […]

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  • “Why the way our children watch screens matters” – BBC

    Screen time for school-aged children decreases their ability to imagine the world, or the so-called ‘mental imagery’ skills. But as Melissa Hogenboom explores, we have the ability to help them be more creative by encouraging play. Kathy also talked about screentime and play in this video…. Watch Here…

    Read full story >

Some of Kathy's books include:

  • User’s Manual for the Quick Interactive Language Screener™ (QUILS™)
    A measure of Vocabulary, Syntax, and Language Acquisition Skills in Young Children
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  • Becoming Brilliant:
    What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children
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  • A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool:
    Presenting the Evidence
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  • Celebrate the Scribble:
    Appreciating Children's Art
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  • Play = Learning:
    How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth
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Kathy is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she contributes articles to her Blog on a regular basis.

Kathy's Brookings Institution Blog