Kathy is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy as well as the role of play in learning. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Golinkoff, she is author of 14 books and hundreds of publications. She is the recipient of the AERA Outstanding Public Communication for Education Research Award, the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the Association for Psychological Science James McKeen Cattell Award, the Society for Research in Child Development, Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, the APA Distinguished Lecturer Award, and the Simms/Mann Whole Child Award. She is a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and AERA. She is the Past President of the International Society for Infant Studies and served as the Associate Editor of Child Development. In 2021, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Education. She is on the advisory board for Nickelodeon, Vroom, the Boston Children’s Museum, Disney Junior, and Jumpstart. She is also an advisor to NCECDTL Research to Practice Consortium that advises Head Start and is the co-developer of the QUILS Quick Interactive Language Screener that assesses early language competence in 3- through 5- year olds in English and Spanish.
Kathy is committed to translating current work in the science of learning for professional and lay audiences. To that end she pioneered global initiates like Playful Learning Landscapes and was on the founding committee of the Latin American School for Educational and Cognitive Neuroscience. Her book, Einstein never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less (Rodale Books) won the prestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003. Her book, Becoming Brilliant: What the science tells us about raising successful children, released in 2016, was on the NYTimes Best Seller List in Education and Parenting. Kathy’s new book, Making Schools Work: Bringing the Science of Learning to Joyful Classroom Practice, was released in October 2022. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a frequent spokesperson for her field appearing in the NYTimes, NPR and in international television outlets.