Golinkoff wins APA lifetime achievement award
Roberta Golinkoff
The most recent publication from collaborators Roberta Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, "A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool."


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9:40 a.m., April 26, 2010----It was a moment of complete shock for Roberta Golinkoff, H. Rodney Sharp Professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware, when she found out she was the 2011 recipient of the American Psychological Association's Urie Bronfenbrenner Award.

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"I was speechless," said Golinkoff. "I was his teaching assistant in graduate school at Cornell University. Now I have the award that bears his name."

Golinkoff and her collaborator, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor at Temple University, are both recipients of the award, which recognizes a lifetime contribution to developmental psychology in the service of science and society. They have worked together for 30 years.

"In addition to writing grants, publishing papers, and writing scholarly books, the unique thing that we do is that we translate our science for general consumption," said Golinkoff. "We bring our field's work to the public so that it can be used to make children's and family's lives better. We are determined to share the science of development with parents, policymakers, teachers, and practitioners, and we have written three popular books to do that. We also speak all over the world.”

The Urie Bronfenbrenner Award was first presented in 1996 to the man after whom the award was named. As a co-founder of the Head Start Program, he was tireless in his work to support children and families. The award was designed to recognize individuals whose work, over a lifetime career, has contributed not only to the science of developmental psychology, but who have also worked for the advancement of the application of developmental psychology to society.

After receiving this award, Golinkoff said she is excited to continue her present research and writing. She is also working hard to help organize a major event in which she is involved -- The Ultimate Block Party. Taking place on Oct. 3, in Central Park in New York City, it is designed to share the science of learning with children and families through fun events and activities.

The Block Party is the beginning of an initiative to highlight the importance of play and playful learning in children's lives.

“Even outside the academy, in private sector corporations and even in the military, people are realizing that without play, our children will be deficient in solving the problems we face in the 21st century,” Golinkoff said.

Golinkoff said she is honored to be in the company of the prior recipients of this award, given that they are, “household names” in psychology.

“It's so gratifying to know that when I am burning the midnight oil, my colleagues notice and appreciate my hard work,” Golinkoff said, adding, "We will continue to produce books that translate the science of developmental psychology to parents, practitioners and anyone who wants to learn more about children, our most important natural resource.”

Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek will present an address and accept the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award in August 2011 at the APA National Convention.

Article by Cassandra Kramer