Parents, teachers, school districts, day care providers, librarians, pediatricians, speech and language therapists, policy makers, and others who work with children are concerned about current trends in our society that work against children’s better interests. Rather than considering the “whole child” and the complex interplay between intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development, our society is more concerned with memorization than true achievement and with children knowing “facts” rather than becoming lifelong learners. Yet what has made the United States great is our ability to rapidly adapt to changes in the marketplace as well as to create novel solutions to old problems.
Business leaders across the country tell us that to compete in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st Century children will need a different kind of training and education. They will need to master what we call the 6Cs (TM) of collaboration (EQ, teamwork), communication ( speaking and listening), content (reading, math, arts and science), critical thinking (problem solving, analysis), creative innovation, and confidence (risk taking). Simply mending the worn knees and replacing the cuffs on our school system will not propel the future American workforce to success in a global economy. It is time to start a national dialogue that asks how we re-imagine schools to meet the demands of the 21st Century world. Findings from years of scientific research in child development and learning science has much to offer in this new conversation. Our outreach efforts through Learning Landscapes and our overhaul of the Godfrey-Lee Public School System using the 6Cs (TM) demonstrate our continued commitment to education for a global world.
- Elected Member of the National Academy of Education (NAEd) Governing Council Member of the Society for Research in Child Development
- With academic institutions such as the Language Research Center at Georgia State University and with students doing research around the world
- Consulting on National Agenda Issues with the government as
- a participant in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development
- Consultant for the NIH Toolbox on language and literacy
- Consultant for State of California Preschool Curricula in language and literacy
- Fred Roger’s Center
- On the advisory board for the Alliance for Childhood
- Research Advisory Board for America’s Promise
- Advisory Board for CIVITAS
- Consulted with a number of Children’s Museums across America
- The Toy Industry
- HIT Entertainment
- Disney Junior
- Sesame Workshop
- Cartoon Network
- Blue’s Clues
RECENT INVITED PAPERS AND ADDRESSES
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, May 6). Reimagining education: A View from the science of learning. Virtual Presentation, University of Maryland, College of Education.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, April 27). The Fall K-3 Classroom: What the data imply about composition, challenges and opportunities. EducationWeek Webinar.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, March 30). Reimagining Early Care and Education: A New American Vision. Educational Policy Event, Virtual Conference, New America Org.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, February 20). A New path to education reform: Playful learning reduces COVID slide and promote learning in school and beyond. The Science of Teaching During a Pandemic, Virtual Conference, Learning and Brain Foundation.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, February 19). Re-IMagining Education: Learning Happens Everywhere. Keynote Speaker, Beyond School Hours 2021 National Educational Conference, Foundations, Inc., Virtual Conference.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, February 3). Finding joy through playful learning. Virtual Conference, Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network, Playful Pittsburgh Collaborative, and Trying Together.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021, January 13). A new path to education reform: The next chapter on 21st century skills. Virtual Panel, Webinar by Brookings Institute.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, December 17). Raising the flag on quality: Measuring important early childhood outcomes. Virtual Panel, Webinar by AppleTree Institute.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, October 20). Addressing inequality in education. Conscious Cities Festival, the Centre for Conscious Design (Virtual Presentation).
Alper, R. M., Beiting, M., Luo, R., Jaen, J., Peel, M., Levi, O., Robinson, C., Knappenberger, J., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, July). One is not enough: Understanding variability in early language interaction quality using parent self-efficacy and developmental knowledge profiles. In L. R. Masek (Chair), Building contingency: How caregiver and child characteristics relate to interactions that support infant language. Symposium conducted at the International Congress on Infant Studies, Glasgow, UK. https://infantstudies.org/program/
Rumper, B., Alper, R. M., Luo, R., Chen, Y., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2020, July). Building bridges: Adapting home-based early language intervention for the Early Head Start classroom. Poster session to be presented at the International Congress of Infant Studies, Glasgow, U.K. https://infantstudies.org/program/
Wilson, M. S., de Villiers, J., Levine, D., Jackson, E., Pritulsky, C., Iglesias, A., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, July). The Quick Interactive Language Screener (QUILS) discriminates language ability in 6-year-olds. Poster presented at the Schools Connect Conference of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Dallas, TX.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, June 3). Children and Screens: Summer of COVID-19–Tots and Tech? Virtual Workshop, Children and Screens: Institute of Media and Child Development.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, June 3). Language and Cognitive Development for 0-3. Featured Talk, Texas School Ready Early Childhood Summer Institute Conference. Children’s Learning Institute, Houston, TX.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, May 21). A Deep Dive into Curiosity and Creativity. Slate School’s Education Idea Lab, Virtual Panel.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, May 19). COVID-19’s impact on families and children. Heider College of Business, Creighton University, Omaha, NE.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, May 12). Digital Media and the Psychology of Learning – How Do We Educate Children. Developing Digital Competence in Early Childhood Education and Care: 7th Congress – State Institute of Early Childhood Research, Munich, Germany.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, March 6). A Prescription for play. Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, Philadelphia, PA.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, March 5). How high quality language environments create high quality learning environments. National Bureau of Economic Research, Boston, MA.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2020, February 12). Re-imagining education in and out of school: Playful learning. Manchester, NH.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, November 22). Re-imagining children’s programming through playful learning. Nickelodeon, NY.
Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Masek, L. (2019, November 14-16). The art of conversation: A commentary on Kapengut & Nobel. The Future of Children Conference, Princeton University.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, November 9). Re-Imagining Education in and out of school: Playful Learning. Keynote Address, Victorian Albert Museum Conference on Play.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, November 1). A Communication Foundation: Building Blocks for Lifelong Literacy. Keynote Address, Center for Children and Families, University of Texas at Dallas.
Hirsh-Pasek. K. (2019, October 21). Outsmarting the robots: What if we taught in the way humans learn? Outsmarting the Robots Workshop, Grands Rapids, MI.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, October 18). Re-Imagining Education: The role of playful learning in and out of school. Summit Education Initiative, Akron, OH.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, October 16). Playful Learning Landscapes: Transforming cityscapes into opportunities for playful learning. Featured Speaker, Conscious Cities Conference, NY.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2019, September 4). How high quality language environments create high quality learning environments. Keynote Address, Cognitive Psychology Section and the Developmental Psychology Section Joint Conference 2019, British Psychological Society, Stoke on Trent, England.
“Top educational apps for children might not be as beneficial as promised” – May 10, 2021, PennState, EurekAlert.org – Log on to any app store, and parents will find hundreds of options for children that claim to be educational. But new research suggests these apps might not be as beneficial to children as they seem. Read More…
“Explained: How to incorporate play-based learning in 2021” – India Today, April 22, 2021 – There are so many reasons why play-based learning is important. But one of the most crucial and powerful reasons is that it helps develop a positive attitude and open-minded trait within the child. That can be further structured in the following ways. Read More…
“Eye on Education: Playful learning important for all ages” – April 7, 2021, Daily Republic: Solano County’s News Source – Check out Stephen Davis’s article on the Brookings Institute Policy “A New Path to Education Reform: Playful learning promotes 21st-century skills in schools and beyond” HERE….
We need bold changes to early care and education policies and practices at all levels. At NewAmerica ‘s event “Reimagining Early Care and Education: A New American Vision” which took place on March 30, 2021, we examined why reimagining and investing in early care and education must be a national priority now and explore how to make it a reality for all children. You can watch it HERE…
“Teaching kids about equality and inclusion”– Check out this article by Maye Yao Co Say in the Business Mirror.
“Teachers resist as schools are slated to resume in-person teaching” – Kathy spoke to South Philly Review about the discussions regarding schools opening up in Philadelphia during COVID19.
“Playful learning and 21st-century skills line the path to education reform: Our responses to your questions” – Brookings Institute On January 13, 2021, the Brookings Center for Universal Education (CUE) hosted a virtual event with over 1,000 registered attendees to share our model for 21st century education reform and discuss the educational priorities of researchers, educators, policymakers, and employers. During the event, Kathy and colleagues received an influx of audience questions on 21st century education reform, the of playful learning principles, and the 6Cs. In her latest blog post, Kathy and colleagues respond to these questions. READ MORE…
“Can You Provide a Quality Preschool Education Over Zoom?” – EdSurge – Don’t you think “online preschool is an oxymoron? Kudos the incredible and creative teachers trying to make it work! Stephen Noonoo chatted with Kathy about this topic… READ HERE…
“A new path to education reform: The next chapter on 21st century skills” – On January 13, 2021, the Center for Universal Education (CUE) hosted a webinar to discuss a path to educational reform. Following a brief overview of the recent Policy 2020 report “A new path to education reform: Playful learning promotes 21st-century skills in schools and beyond” by Brookings Fellow Helen Hadani, a panel of experts, including Kathy, shared their various perspectives on how to remake education, foster educational equity, and prepare students for a better future. Watch the Webinar here…
“Children need unstructured exploration and time to tackle problems that interest them” – Book Review of “The Intellectual Lives of Children” by Susan Engel (2021) – AAAS Science Blog Post, January 5, 2021 – Susan Engel’s exquisitely written book demonstrates how #playful learning sparks curiosity, creativity and 21st century skills. It is the pedagogy for our time! Read Kathy’s Complete Book Review…
“Should schools reopen? Balancing COVID-19 and learning loss for young children” – Universal prescriptions or mandates for in-school learning this fall are misguided and unrealistic. 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” – 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… These views—and the effort to present them as contradictions—are mostly right and also almost entirely wrong. What is mostly right? Read More…
“Where’s the rallying cry? America’s children are unequally prepared to absorb the impacts of COVID-19” – This historic moment is highlighting how unprepared many of America’s children are to absorb the shock of this pandemic. As epidemiologists grapple over the public health consequences of COVID-19 and economists debate how best to prop up the economy, the inevitable negative impacts of economic and health distress on family life and children’s well-being are more an informational news story than a national rallying cry. Read More…
“Are our preschool teachers worth more than they were two months ago?” … Despite our new appreciation for early childhood teachers, they remain seriously underpaid for the work they do. Educators of our youngest children are paid an average of $11 dollars an hour—just about the federal poverty level or the same wages as the average doughnut maker… Read More…
How can designers create digital toys and apps that prompt more human-to-human connections? How can we harness the power of human while still enjoying the reach and unfathomable possibilities of digital tools? Kathy addresses such questions in her blog post, “The power of human: Re-inventing technology to prompt more social connection.”
Do toys and games improve thinking or IQ, or do they just make a child better at playing the games? In the Dana Foundation’s Cerebrum Podcast Kathy talks about her Cerebrum article, “Brain Training for Kids: Adding a Human Touch,” the $7.5 billion market for apps and games, and the latest research on its effectiveness.
While the U.S. economy becomes ever more information-driven, our system of education seems stuck on the idea that “content is king,” neglecting other skills that 21st century citizens sorely need. “Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children” offers solutions that parents, educators, practitioners, and policy makers can implement right now. Backed by the latest scientific evidence, this book introduces the “6Cs” collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence along with ways parents can nurture their children s development in each area.
While sharing the findings from developmental science, we have written “Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less” (Rodale Press) to let parents “off the hook” and liberate them from the cult of achievement. Parents need not feel pressured to manage their children’s lives in order to “sculpt” their intelligence. “Play = Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children’s Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth” (Oxford University Press) contains the results of research in many domains that show how important play is to children’s lives.
“How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life” (Dutton/Penguin) shares secrets about the process of language development from research laboratories around the world.
“A Mandate for playful learning in preschool: Presenting the evidence” (Oxford University Press) offers a one-stop catalogue of the ways in which play-based learning can help balance children’s education so that they have strong social, academic and physical skills for lifelong learning. This book ends with a set of principles designed to help parents, policy makers and educators create the educational format for the 21st century child.
RECENT BLOG POSTS
- Brookings Institute: “Rush to summer school? A moment for celebration and caution.” May 13, 2021.
- Brookings Institute: “Building back better: The promise of the American Rescue Plan for education.” April 9, 2021.
- Brookings Institute: “Looking for an educational life raft? Apps may not be the answer.” March 22, 2021.
- Brookings Institute: “Playful learning and 21st-century skills line the path to education reform: Our responses to your questions.” February 17, 2021.
- The Hechinger Report: How can we prevent a generation of pandemic-isolated misfits? January 27, 2021.
- AAAS Science Blog Post: “Children need unstructured exploration and time to tackle problems that interest them” – Book Review of “The Intellectual Lives of Children” by Susan Engel (2021), January 5, 2021.
- Brookings Institute: “COVID-19 sparks an overdue discussion on education reform: An optimistic vision.” January 4, 2021.
- Brookings Institute: “Rebuilding America’s schools: The new secretary of education will need to prioritize both access and breadth of skills”. December 23, 2020.
- Child and Family Blog: “Why are we still at home?” Fostering Children’s Questions During COVID19. December 3, 2020.
- Brookings: Does reopening schools lead to increased life expectancy? The data aren’t so simple. November 23, 2020.
- Brookings: An unprecedented time in education demands unprecedented change. November 13, 2020.
- Brookings: The missing piece: Where is ‘education’ in the national conversation? October 12, 2020.
- Brookings: Should schools reopen? Balancing COVID-19 and learning loss for young children. July 21, 2020.
- Brookings: Progress on social mobility takes more than two viewpoints. July 15, 2020.
- Brookings: Where’s the rallying cry? America’s children are unequally prepared to absorb the impacts of COVID-19. May 13, 2020.
- Brookings: Avoiding the COVID-19 slump: Making up for lost school time. April 30, 2020.
- Child and Family Blog: Play Could Help Reduce ‘Covid-19 Slump’ In Learning. April 25, 2020.
- Brookings: Are our preschool teachers worth more than they were two months ago? April 13, 2020.
- The Hechinger Report: There are policy solutions that can end the war on childhood, and the discussion should start this campaign session. March 17, 2020.
- Brookings: A parent’s guide to surviving COVID-19: 8 Strategies to keep children healthy and happy. March 17, 2020.
- Brookings: Playbrary: A new vision of the neighborhood library. February 20, 2020.
- Brookings: Thank you, Mr. Rogers: An escape hatch for the holidays. November 27, 2019.
- Center for Scholars & Storytellers: The power of human: Re-inventing technology to prompt more social connection.
- Brookings: At the intersection where education meets city planning: Playful Learning Landscapes. October 29, 2019.
- Brookings: Moving on up: More than relocation as a path of out of child poverty. October 17, 2019.
Learning Sciences Exchange (LSX) Program
Kathy is a co-founder of the Learning Sciences Exchange Program, a one-of-a-kind fellowship program bringing together 15 fellows, three each from five different sectors — science, policy, journalism, entertainment, and social entrepreneurship– who participate for 2 years. She is also on the Steering Committee.
Breakthroughs and insights now emerge regularly from the early learning sciences. Yet they are slow to make their way into schools, family support systems, and the social consciousness in positive ways. Too often, new findings on children 0-8 are either left to wilt in inaccessible academic journals, contorted by splashy headlines, or too complicated to lead to real policy changes. One major contributor to this problem: Journalists, storytellers (such as movie producers), policy influencers, and learning scientists have no incentive to take the time to listen to each other, grapple with problems together, and gain a deeper understanding of the other’s mission and work….
The Learning Sciences Exchange Program is designed to address this problem. LSX is a one-of-a-kind fellowship program that brings together 15 fellows, three each from the five sectors (science, policy, journalism, entertainment, and social entrepreneurship), who participate for 2 years. The fellows hail from multiple countries in Europe and North America. Each participant enjoys time for cross-disciplinary thinking and writing about how to bring ideas in learning science to fruition and about how to communicate them with the greatest influence.
LSX is led in partnership among New America, the International Congress of Infant Studies, and the Jacobs Foundation. For more information, see our frequently asked questions below, the press release announcing our launch, and a blog post on why we developed the program.