University of Delaware

Founding Members

Roberta Michnick GolinkoffRoberta 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. She directs the Infant Language Project, whose goal it is to understand how children tackle the amazing feat of learning language. Roberta also investigates how children learn through play, studying the benefits of acquiring knowledge in contexts where children are actively discovering rather than passive recipients of information. In the present climate where “play” has become a four-letter word, Golinkoff’s research spotlights as an important vehicle for children’s learning. 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, Roberta is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines as a scientific advocate for children. She routinely gives keynote addresses at professional conferences. However, 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 attempts to liberate caring adults from the cult of achievement. Their latest book is A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence.

Golinkoff is codirector of the Center for Re-Imaging Children’s Learning and Education at Temple University (CiRCLE) and one of the founders of the Ultimate Block Party Initiative and LearnNow. She is also currently an associate editor of the journal Child Development.

Golinkoff obtained her bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College, her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Cornell University and had a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and Development Center.

Capping her stellar career, Golinkoff considers her finest achievement to be her two children: Allison, 28, and Jordan, 32.