Golinkoff will receive Society for Research in Child Development distinguished award
Roberta Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education, and her long-time collaborator Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, professor of psychology at Temple University, will receive the 2017 Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award.
The award recognizes an SRCD member’s continuous lifetime contributions to the scientific body of knowledge and understanding of children’s development. Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek are the first research team to receive this award.
Professors Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek have dedicated their careers to groundbreaking research on language, literacy, education, and spatial development changes in the field of developmental psychology in infants and young children.
In the late 1980s, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek pioneered an innovative research method for studying pre-verbal infants named the Intermodal Preferential Looking Paradigm (IPLP). Through the use of side-by-side visual stimuli on a television screen and a single auditory stimulus, researchers were able to determine whether pre-verbal infants could match what they heard with one of the events they saw on the screen.
Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek later focused their research on the importance of play in the development of young children. They demonstrated that preschoolers learn best from play and playful learning. In 2010, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek organized the Ultimate Block Party in New York City’s Central Park. Over 50,000 families participated in child-friendly activities that illustrated value of playful learning. Subsequent Block Parties were held in Baltimore and Toronto.
Their most recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, argues that the development of six soft skills will help children thrive in a 21st century and global workplace. With scientific evidence and illustrative examples from current school practices, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek show how educators and parents can nurture collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence in children.
Golinkoff joined the University of Delaware in 1974 and holds joint appointments in the School of Education in the College of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.
She currently works as a principal investigator on an Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Training Grant and co-chairs the Frontiers of Innovation Working Group on Playful Learning at Harvard University with Hirsh-Pasek. She also serves as the director of the Child’s Play Learning and Development Lab, which explores the intricate aspects of the language-learning process, cognitive development, and the development of spatial concepts through play.
Golinkoff’s achievements have also been recognized by other organizations, including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the University of Delaware, and the American Psychological Association. In recognition of an “exceptional capacity for productive scholarship,” Golinkoff received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2011, she received UD’s Francis Alison Award, the University’s highest competitive faculty honor. The American Psychological Association has awarded Golinkoff the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award and the Distinguished Scientific Lecturer Award.
With Hirsh-Pasek, she also received the Association for Psychological Science (APS) James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, the highest honor conferred by the APS, which recognizes “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research.”
Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek will receive the award at the SRCD Awards Ceremony on April 7 during SCRD’s Biennial Meeting in Austin, Texas.