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.
In December 2021, Encantos, the global creator platform empowering Storyteachers from around the world to help kids learn 21st-century skills, announced that Kathy became Encantos’ first Creator-in-Residence.
In May 2023, Kathy ad her team received a $19.98 million grant from the LEGO Foundation in support of her work on playful learning.
- Advisory Board, LRDC University of Pittsburgh
- Board Member, Zero to Three
- 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
- Advisory Board, NCECDLT Research to Practice Consortium, National Head Start
- Fred Roger’s Center
- On the advisory board for the Alliance for Childhood
- Research Advisory Board for America’s Promise
- Advisory Board for Nickelodeon
- Advisory Board for CIVITAS
- Advisory Board for Ready to Learn, PBS
- Consulted with a number of Children’s Museums across America
- Advisory Board for Bay Area Discovery Museum
- Advisory Board for Chicago Children’s Museum
- Advisory Board for Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Consulted with Amazon for the creation of Amazon Glow
- The Toy Industry
- HIT Entertainment
- Disney Junior
- Sesame Workshop
- Cartoon Network
- Blue’s Clues
RECENT INVITED PAPERS AND ADDRESSES
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2023, April 25). Playful Learning Journey: The What and Why of Playful Learning. Webinar, Edfunders Virtual Event.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, Dec 6). A whole new world: Education meets the metaverse. Speaker, Learning & Teaching Expo 2022, Hong Kong Education City Limited.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, November 29). Play + Academics + Relationships: Teaching in Ways Kindergarteners Learn Best Transforming Kindergarten to Promote Impactful Learning Series, Webinar, Presenter, GLR Learning Tuesdays Webinar, 2 Co-sponsored by New America.
Hirsh-Pasek, (2022, November 12). Learning ecosystem for the future: Family, school, society. Keynote Speaker, Yidan International Education Forum (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, November 9). Making schools work: Bringing the science of learning to joyful classroom practice; Brookings Institute Book Launch Event (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, October 26). Future learning: Innovation, opportunities and challenges of immersive technology in education training. Round Table Participant, Esade: EsadeEcPol-Center for Economic Policy.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, October 12). Fostering community and measuring impact: What’s working in playful learning cities. Speaker, Brookings Institute.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, September 20). Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Presentation to Board of Directors and Shareholders, Baltimore, MD.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, September 19). Reimagining Education: A view from the science of learning. Keynote Address, 2022 Sandra J. Skolnik Lecture on Early Childhood Education and Advocacy, Maryland Family Network, Baltimore, MD.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, September 16). The Importance of play summit. Invited Contributor, Association of Children’s Museums Board Meeting.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, September 7). Reimagining Education: A view from the science of learning. Keynote Address, Opening Program Convocation, Professional Development in Early Childhood Education for the Catherine Hershey Schools of Early Learning, Hershey, PA.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, August 3). Creating ideal learning environments through play. Panelist, the Hunt Institute.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, June 30). National governor’s association. Invited Speaker, State Trauma & Resilience Network.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, June 28). Education meets the metaverse: The promise and the worry – A Brookings-Yidan Prize event on the future of education in the 21st century. Panelist, Brookings Institute.
Zosh, J. M., Gaudreau, C., Michnick-Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, Summer). The Power of playful learning in the early childhood setting. Young Children, 77(2).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, May 25). Creating ideal learning environments through play. Panelist, the Hunt Institute and Trust for Learning Webinar.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, May 10). Stimulating STEM in the city: Co-designing with Latine families to promote informal STEM learning. Guest Speaker, 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase (May 10-17, 2022).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, May 10). Supporting Children in the Metaverse. Panelist, Children’s Media Association Webinar.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, April 21). Child poverty in America: Where do we go from here? College of Liberal Arts Public Policy Lab, Policy Roundtable, Temple University. (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, March 15). Transforming city scapes into equitable opportunities for playful learning. Invited Speaker, Cambridge University.
Hirsh-Pasek, K., Ratner, N. B., Golinkoff, R., & Leong, V. (2022, February 18). Playful empowered learning: Using science to reimagine education. Session, 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, February 10). A Prescription for play: How play fosters social and cognitive development. Keynote Session, AJEC Research Symposium, Early Childhood Australia. (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022, February 2). Playful learning, not play vs. learning in preschool: How play fosters cognitive development. Early Childhood Investigations Webinars (ECE Webinars), (Virtual).
Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Blinkoff, E. (2022, January 6). Re-Imagining higher education: The 6 Cs. Invited Speaker, 44th Annual National Institute of Teaching Psychology (NITOP). St. Pete Beach, FL (Virtual).
“Playful learning makes for joyful parenting” – Bold, May 11, 2023 – “All parents want the best for their children. And there is no shortage of advice on parenting, which has become a multibillion-dollar industry with investors capitalizing on parents’ innate desire to support their children. The notion that there is a “perfect” way to raise children can be found in blogs, TikToks, books, and apps, causing anxiety for many parents.” READ MORE…
“Forever young: The rise of the ‘kidults’” – Connecticut Public Radio/WNPR, May 5, 2023 – “Toys are occasionally marketed to “children of all ages.” In recent years, market research has shown the number of toy-buyers over 12 years old is growing. The demographic, sometimes called “kidults,” now comprises a quarter of the annual toy retail market, and an impressive 60% of the market’s growth in the last year, according to market research company NPD Group. Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University, discusses why familiar toys might appeal to us today, and the links between how we played as children and how we socialize now.” READ MORE…
“How AI Can Accelerate Students’ Holistic Development and Make Teaching More Fulfilling” -World Economic Forum, May 1, 2023 – “With the rapidly accelerating integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in our work, life, and classrooms, educators all over the world are re-evaluating the purpose of education in light of these outsized implications. At Teach For All and the LEGO Foundation, we see the potential of AI to accelerate the long overdue transformation of education systems towards inclusive learning that will prepare young people to thrive and shape a better future.” READ MORE….
“Children’s Museums Are Growing Intellectually and Emotionally” – New York Times, April 26, 2023 – This piece in NYT featured the importance of Children’s Museums and the various ways in which they are growing. READ MORE…
“ChatGPT: AI That Gives You a Break From the Routine or Takes Your Job Away? – April 18, 2023, Houston Press – “Many days of the week, John Smith in his job as an administrative assistant to a college faculty member, will look up the professor’s availability to set up daily appointments. This is one of the more tedious small tasks he does that keeps Smith away from handling more important or rewarding assignments. Some scientists are touting a solution to this saying Smith could be freed from these routine duties with the latest extension of artificial intelligence called ChatGPT. This Artificial Intelligence program rapidly runs through any number of databases to come up with written answers to queries or in Smith’s case, could expedite his time spent arranging meetings.” READ MORE….
“Teaching in the Ways Kindergartners Learn Best” – New America, March 31, 2023 – “Kindergarten is an important year for children and their families. For some, it is their first experience in formal education. Some children may be away from their parents or caregiver for the first time. For those who attended an early childhood program, whether in a center, family childcare home, or with a care provider in the neighborhood, kindergarten may look and feel different than their previous experiences. While kindergarten is the first universal education access point for children, they bring diverse experiences and strengths to the classroom.” READ MORE…
“ChatGPT: Ushering in the Age of Creativity” – March 28, 2023, the European Business Review – “ChatGPT is a game-changer. The AI bot released in November1 writes sonnets like Shakespeare2 and lyrics in the style of the Beatles,3 all in a matter of seconds. And each can be carefully tailored to a user’s unique needs with incredible specificity. Imagine what it can do for journalists investigating a story, physicians seeking a diagnosis, and those who write manuals for products – let alone for students writing papers…” READ MORE….
“How to use ChatGPT as a learning tool” – March 27, 2023, American Psychological Association – “As technology advances, psychologists can find new opportunities to innovate in the field and in education. But the introduction of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI)—the simulation of human intelligence by computers—can feel daunting. For psychology instructors in particular, the advent of a rapidly evolving AI software called ChatGPT (and the updated version, GPT-4) has introduced new challenges—but experts say it’s also ripe with potential to help students learn in new ways and prepare them for careers after college…” READ MORE…
“48 best gifts and toys for 4-year-olds in 2023, according to experts” – March 29, 2023, the New York Post – “4-year-olds truly have minds of their own. They may be in preschool, have an intrinsic curiosity surrounding them with every move they make and — we’ll bet — adore toys, toys, and lots of them. Much like 3-year-olds and even 2-year-olds, they’re constantly on the move and likely have a toy collection growing by the month…” READ MORE…
“ChatGPT: Educational Friend or Foe” – March 20, 2023, Temple University PPL Policy Brief – In the new Temple University PPL Policy Brief. “ChatGPT: Educational Friend or Foe,” authors Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Elias Blinkoff explore the potential for AI programs like ChatGPT to improve students’ communication and critical thinking skills. READ HERE…
“Guest Column: We have an education redesign problem” – March 3, 2023, the Grand Rapids Business Journal – “A little more than three years ago, the Grand Rapids Public Museum hosted “Outsmarting the Robots: Redesigning education from the classroom to the halls of Lansing.” The conference was organized around the question “How do we redesign our system for learning to build the 21st century skills that matter to meeting the needs of our children, economy, society and world?”” READ MORE…
“Forever young: The rise of the ‘kidults’” – March 3, 2023, Connecticut Public Radio – “Toys are occasionally marketed to “children of all ages.” In recent years, market research has shown the number of toy-buyers over 12 years old is growing. The demographic, sometimes called “kidults,” now comprises a quarter of the annual toy retail market, and an impressive 60% of the market’s growth in the last year, according to market research company NPD Group.” READ MORE….
“Is ChatGPT the future of cheating or the future of teaching?” – February 21, 2023, Grid –“ChatGPT, the cutting-edge chatbot from OpenAI that was released in November 2022, can solve math equations, write a history term paper, compose a sonnet and almost everything in between. So it’s not surprising that many educators support banning the chatbot in schools to prevent plagiarism, cheating and just plain inaccuracy.” READ MORE…
“Learning to Become a Better Grandfather” – March 3, 2023, The New York Times – “When Ted Page became a grandfather in 2014, he wanted to hear other men’s stories, “real experiences that hopefully would guide newcomers,” he recalled. “We’re shifting into a different part of our lives,” said Mr. Page, a 63-year-old from Lexington, Mass. “I was trying to picture what it would be like.”” READ MORE….
“The AI Boom & ChatGPT” – Randi Zuckerman Means Business Podcast, January 25, 2023 – “Artificial Intelligence is booming, particularly the text-generator ChatGPT! On this episode, Randi and her guests discuss why everyone is talking about ChatGPT and why it matters.” LISTEN HERE…
“Education meets the universe: The promise and the worry” – CoSN’s Emerging Technologies Committee, January 19th, 2023 – Everyone is talking about the metaverse. Its diverse applications include gaming, real estate and entertainment among others. Few are addressing how this relatively new technology might impact education for good or for bad. The metaverse can bring us to new worlds that would rarely or never be personally explored – from ancient Greece, to underwater adventures, to outer space….
“Children’s Play Time Is a Key to Early Learning” – Bucksco Today, December 16, 2022 – “Children’s play should be seen as an essential vehicle for learning and early education, not a distraction from it, say early childhood experts. That’s the message delivered at a webinar on the importance of play hosted by The Hunt Institute and Trust for Learning, writes Kara Arundel for K-12DIVE…” READ MORE…
“Jackie Mader: Play important to children of all ages, part of learning; schools should maximize benefits” – Northern Kentucky Tribute, November 26, 2022 – “In 1966, when psychiatrist Dr. Stuart Brown was assigned to a commission to investigate what led University of Texas student Charles Whitman to kill 12 people in one of the country’s first mass shootings, Brown and his colleagues considered many different aspects of Whitman’s background. The student had access to firearms at home; he had witnessed abuse while growing up; and he had a difficult relationship with his father.” READ MORE…
“Want resilient and well-adjusted kids? Let them play” – KQED, November 14, 2022 – “Experts say such play time should not just happen outside of school or at recess, but should be a necessary part of teaching and learning. Supporting the most beneficial play activities, however, can take training and planning. Play should be looked at as a way to learn within schools, said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor of psychology at Temple University and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Hirsh-Pasek sees play as a spectrum of activity, ranging from free play, where “adults should just get out of the way,” to direct instruction, where adults set the agenda.” READ MORE…
“Future of Learning” – Hechinger Report Newsletter, October 26, 2022 – “Sometime in the past year or two, you’ve likely heard the word “metaverse.” It’s the future, the next big frontier of the internet, if you ask technology CEOs or researchers.” READ MORE…
“Fostering community and measuring impact: What’s working in playful learning cities” – Brookings Institute, October 12, 2022 – “More than half of the world’s children are growing up in cities. Yet, children and families are often invisible to urban planners, developers, and architects when implementing policies and practices that shape the built environment. Playful Learning Landscapes (PLL) is a culturally adaptable and sustainable approach for creating more child-friendly cities by augmenting opportunities for play, learning, and healthy development in the public realm.” WATCH HERE…
“The Classroom: Face-to-Face vs. Virtual vs. Mataverse” – Institute for the Future of Education, October 3, 2022 –“I have been fortunate to be a teacher at different educational levels, from preschool to higher education, and for teacher training. Advising and exchanging knowledge became my passion. Today’s teachers have learned psychology to understand students, didactics to facilitate knowledge, neuroscience to understand the brain, game theories, and narrative to attract and seduce human curiosity…” READ MORE…
“Edtech Series: Education in the Metaverse” – the Global Herald, September 2, 2022 – Kathy joins Emily Chang to discuss the potential of the metaverse for education, the importance of making sure it is safe and why it needs to be rolled out in an equitable way… WATCH HERE
“6 Reasons Why Your Kids Need Guided Play” – Psychology Today, August 26, 2022- “’Play’ is critically important, and different types of play matter in different ways. Most research on play, historically, has been focused on free play. As the name implies, free play is characterized by children initiating and freely driving the play experience, with minimal or no adult involvement…” READ MORE…
“3 Top Takeaways from the Hunt Institute Webinar: Ideal Learning Environments” – Early Learning Nation, August 24, 2022 – “On Tuesday, August 3, The Hunt Institute’s Dan Wuori and Trust for Learning’s Ellen Roche cohosted a webinar spotlighting the role of play in ideal learning environments. “Play is a vehicle for learning rather than a distraction from it,” Wuori stated…” READ MORE…
“Want to close the word gap? Focus on talk” – TES Magazine, August 11th, 2022 – “Schools are full of talk; in every classroom, it’s a vital learning tool. But because it’s ingrained in our lessons, and teachers are great at enabling talk, it is not usually considered necessary for staff to timetable it specifically. And yet, talk is the key to success in life.” READ MORE…
“Unstructured, longer play time called key to early learning” – K-12 Dive, August 5, 2022 – “It takes work to learn how to play. That’s the message early childhood experts delivered Wednesday during a webinar on the importance of play in early education settings, hosted by The Hunt Institute and Trust for Learning. Rather than viewing children’s play as a distraction from learning, it should be viewed as an essential vehicle for learning, the speakers said.” READ MORE…
“Creating Ideal Learning Environments Through Play” – the Hunt Institute, August 3, 2022 – “Play is an essential element of young children’s learning. Join The Hunt Institute and Trust for Learning for a special edition of the Early Efforts web series spotlighting the role of play in ideal learning environments.” WATCH HERE….
“Where Does Education Fit in an Emerging Metaverse?” – EdSurge Podcast, June 28, 2022 – “It’s the latest sign that Big Tech sees education as a key piece of the rush to build a metaverse, the immersive Internet of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality… This technology raises lots of exciting possibilities and some tough challenges, for both K12 classrooms and college classrooms of the future. And to help us sort through this emerging space, we invited two guests to the podcast who have seen more of this VR space than most and are thinking through these issues….” LISTEN HERE….
“What Could the Metaverse Mean for Higher Education?” – Diverse Issues in Higher Education, June 9, 2022 – “Meta, the parent company of Facebook, made waves last fall when it announced the so-called metaverse. In a few years, this metaverse could be interoperable networks of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that blend physical and digital spaces. The technology is not quite there yet, but VR and AR uses have already been entering some higher education classrooms, raising questions about both their major potential and challenges.” READ MORE…
“Sharpen your little one’s curious mind with these age-appropriate activities” – News24, June 8, 2022 – Research on the educational benefits of play is nothing new; however, findings have been mainly focused on Early Childhood Development because of how important the early years are for a young developing brain. “Children’s free play contains the roots of mathematical learning 46% of the time,” according to Kathy Hirsh-Pasek…” READ MORE….
“The Parental Role in Play”- The Good Men Project, June 4, 2022 – “The way that children begin to understand themselves and the world around them is mediated through play. The value of play is in the way that children learn to navigate their world. The benefits are far reaching. For example, self-regulation learned through play helps with social relationships, academics, and at work.” READ MORE…
“Funding High-Quality Child Care Is A Popular Idea, So Treat It Like One, Researcher Says” – EdSurge, June 1, 2022 – “Researcher Kathy Hirsch-Pasek has a challenge she would like to see lawmakers in the U.S. Congress take on—call it a dare. She wants all 535 of them to spend a day taking the lead in an early childhood classroom. Just one day would be enough to show the folks in Congress how difficult and important the work is, says Hirsch-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution…” READ MORE…
“Five ways to help your kids learn through play” – the Citizen, May 24, 2022 – “There are many life skills that can be taught through play. Here are five ways in which you can teach your child important life lessons while having fun.” READ MORE…
“YOU, YOUR KIDS & SCHOOL: The dangers of distracted parenting” – Litchfield Independent Review, May 11, 2022 – “I had a hard truth delivered to me this week, and it came at the hands of a pint-sized human at the ripe age of 6 years old. This child, with her wide-eyed innocence, told me that her dad liked playing video games more than he liked playing with her, and that it made her sad.” READ MORE….
“Study: VR better than video for student performance, engagement” – K-12 Dive, May 9, 2022 – “Young said he wasn’t surprised by the study’s findings, adding they show VR and the metaverse can be helpful tools in education. “I think it is very hopeful. Of course, it’s a very expensive technology still, so the downside is that you don’t want to exacerbate inequities,” he said.” READ MORE…
“Stimulating STEM in the city: Co-designing with Latine families to promote informal STEM learning” – 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase, May 10, 2022 – A long history of research suggests that early informal STEM learning experiences such as block play, puzzles, visiting zoos and science museums can build a strong foundation for STEM learning and which leads to later STEM success…” Watch the VIDEO HERE
“What Is the Metaverse’s Future in K-12 and Higher Ed?” – Government Technology, May 6, 2022 – Virtual and augmented reality tools are gaining traction in both K-12 and higher-ed institutions, but experts say more planning and collaboration are needed to make the content practical and useful…
“Communities find new shared learning opportunities in the time of COVID” – Bold, May 2, 2022 – “Learning can happen anywhere. That’s the philosophy behind the Playful Learning Landscapes project, which studies and creates educational activities for public spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink shared spaces and community activities, as we face new challenges – but also new opportunities – for playful learning…”
“The way out of poverty: Governments must invest in families and children” – The Lab Report, Public Policy Lab, Temple University – Check out Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts Public Policy Lab’s Lab Report (Issue 2), titled “Child poverty in America: Where do we go from here?” and Kathy’s section titled “The way out of poverty: Governments must invest in families and children”.
“Should schools invest in the metaverse?” – K-12 Dive, March 30, 2022 – “Pondering the potential of the metaverse in educational spaces, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, imagines infinite possibilities for learning opportunities. ‘It will enable us to visit places we’ve never visited before,’ Hirsh-Pasek said. ‘To learn French while we’re sitting in a French cafe. To go visit places in South Africa that we might have only heard about or seen on a Google map. Imagine if you could jump into the Google map. Imagine if you could go back and forth on a timeline and now really go back to the future.’” READ MORE…
RECENT BLOG POSTS
- Brookings Institute: “Sparking creativity and addressing wicked problems via the new LSX model of collaboration.” April 18, 2023.
- Brookings Institute: “ChatGPT: Educational friend or foe?” January 9, 2023.
- Brookings Institute: “Why Jonny can’t read: The great disconnect between reading science and policy.” December 19, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Limited family support policies create a powder keg for our nation’s future.” November 29, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Let’s educate tomorrow’s voters: Democracy depends on it.” November 21, 2022
- Brookings Institute: “An obituary for education—or not?” November 8, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Reading with a caregiver trumps reading an e-book alone.” October 12, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Supporting children post-Roe: An urgent call for social infrastructure.” July 19, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Making pre-K work: Lessons from the Tennessee study.” February 28, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Educating children to make the invisible, visible.” February 23, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “A little cash goes a long way to support early childhood and development.” January 25, 2022.
- Brookings Institute: “Global education trends and research to follow in 2022.” January 24, 2022.
The Ultimate Playbook: Co-Design in Action
Kathy is a co-founder of The Ultimate Playbook℠ inviting teachers, coaches, school and district leaders to join as a district to confidently co-design effective and equitable educational communities through the power of play and learning science.
The first step in The Ultimate Playbook design is getting to know what makes your community unique, and understanding your goals for students and teachers. For more information, visit our website https://www.theultimateplaybook.org/.