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Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair and Professor
Dr. Roberta Michnick Golinkoff is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair and professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware. She also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Dr. Golinkoff is also founder and director of the Child’s Play, Learning, and Development Lab.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and the LEGO Foundation, Dr. Golinkoff’s research on language development, the benefits of play, and preschoolers’ early spatial knowledge has resulted in numerous articles, book chapters and books. Passionate about the dissemination of psychological science, she and her collaborator Kathy Hirsh-Pasek also write books for parents and practitioners. Examples include How Babies Talk (1999), the award-winning Einstein Never Used Flash Cards (2004), and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool (2009). Her most recent book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, reached the New York Times best seller list in 2016.
Dr. Golinkoff also co-founded the Ultimate Block Party movement to celebrate the science of learning. The first event (2010) in Central Park in New York City attracted over 50,000 people, and subsequent Block Parties were held in Baltimore, MD, Toronto, CA, and Norwalk, CT. Dr. Golinkoff also co-founded Playful Learning Landscapes to transform cities into playful learning centers for children to prepare them for success in a global world. These installations marry the science of learning with architectural design. From supermarkets to parks to laundromats, learning science is made to come alive.
Dr. Golinkoff has received numerous honors and awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society. Most recently, she was awarded the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award in 2018 and named an AERA Fellow in 2019.
- Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1973
- B.A., Psychology, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY, 1968
- Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair and Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware
- Director, Child’s Play, Learning, and Development Lab, School of Education, University of Delaware
- Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Delaware
- Professor, Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, University of Delaware
- Golinkoff, R. M. (PI), Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Guernsey, L. (co-PIs). The Learning Sciences Exchange (LSX) Program. Jacobs Foundation, 2017–2019.
- Golinkoff, R. M. (PI), Chen, D., Cremin, T., Sheuer, N., and Popp, J. (co-PIs). How Children and Adults Think about Play: A Cross-Cultural Examination. LEGO Foundation Grant, 2017–2019.
- Golinkoff, R. M. (PI), Chen, D., Cremin, T., Sheuer, N., and Popp, J. (co-PIs). How Children and Adults Think about Play: A Cross-Cultural Examination. LEGO Foundation Pilot Project Grant, 2015–2016.
- Shafto, P. (PI), Bonawitz, E., Corriveau, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Xu, F. (co-PIs). Guiding Guided Learning: Developmental, Educational, and Computational Perspectives. National Science Foundation, 2016–2018. ($749,016)
- Golinkoff, R. M. (PI), Hirsh-Pasek, K., Iglesias, A., and deVilliers, J. (co-PIs). Assessing Language Comprehension in Toddlers at Risk for Language Delay. Institute of Education Sciences, 2016–2019. ($1,599,997)
Recent Professional Awards
- James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, Association for Psychological Science, 2015
- Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2017
- Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award, American Association of Educational Research (AERA), 2018
- AERA Fellow, 2019