Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D.

H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education
University of Delaware

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., holds the H. Rodney Sharp Chair in the School of Education at the University of Delaware and is a member of the Departments of Psychology and Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Golinkoff obtained her bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College, her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Cornell University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center.

She directs the Infant Language Project, whose goal it is to understand how children tackle the amazing feat of learning language. She also investigates how children learn through play, studying the benefits of acquiring knowledge in contexts where children are active rather than passive recipients of information. Finally, in a new line of research she studies young children’s spatial skills, so essential for success in the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Golinkoff has written dozens of journal articles, chapters and academic books. Her recent books include Action Meets Word: How Children Learn Verbs and PLAY = LEARNING: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children’s Cognitive and Social-Emotional Growth, both coedited with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, her longstanding research collaborator.

The recipient of numerous prestigious awards such as a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Golinkoff is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines as a scientific advocate for children. Her passion is to speak to both lay and professional groups worldwide—encouraging them to promote children’s development based on the research in developmental science. Golinkoff has written a number of popular books for scholars, practitioners and parents with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek. Their book Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less won the Books for a Better Life Award. Their latest book is A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool presents the case for providing children with a rich and playful environment for learning.

Golinkoff is one of the founders of the Ultimate Block Party Initiative and LearnNow.org. She was also an associate editor of the premier journal in her field, Child Development.