Golinkoff, colleague win national psychology award
Roberta Golinkoff


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9:26 a.m., Oct. 23, 2009----The University of Delaware's Roberta Golinkoff, H. Rodney Sharp Professor in the School of Education, and her long-time collaborator, Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a professor at Temple University, are joint recipients of the American Psychology Association (APA) Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science. The announcement came from the APA Board of Scientific Affairs in early October.

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"The work that we do, with writing popular press books and in doing research projects that attempt to translate our basic research into things that can actually affect the lives of children and families is very important to us," said Golinkoff. "So the fact that we're finally getting recognition for this work is just wonderful."

The award was created to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their commitment to a culture of service.

APA stated that both Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek have shown a commitment to disseminating and translating psychological research and making it accessible to policy-makers and the general public through publications, public lectures and advisory roles with child-related organizations.

Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek have been collaborators since 1980. Their work focuses mainly on early childhood language acquisition and on the benefits of play. They have co-authored nine books and monographs and dozens of articles for scholarly journals and book chapters.

Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek have also shared their research findings at conferences and institutes across the country.

Their publications include Celebrate the Scribble: Appreciating Children's Art; Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less; How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years; and their newest book, A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence.

Golinkoff says she does think their research is making a difference for parents who want to understand how children learn. She adds that parents are under tremendous pressure today to push academic learning on their children in a way that isn't fun.

"Things are changing slowly," said Golinkoff. "But parents do seem more and more to be getting the message from our work and others in the media that play really matters for children and that is how they learn best."

The team will split a $1,000 honorarium. In addition, an announcement about their award will be published in the November issues of the APA Science Directorate's Psychological Science Agenda newsletter.

Article by: Cassandra Kramer