Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Language, Literacy, Play, Early Childhood


Kathy Hirsh‐Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy as well as the role of play in learning. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Golinkoff, she is author of 17 books and 250+ publications, she is the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Bronfenbrenner Award, the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, the Association for Psychological Science James McKeen Cattell Award, the Society for Research in Child Development, Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award, the APA Distinguished Lecturer Award, the Kay Lokoff Yellow Rose Award as a national advocate for young children, and the Association of Children’s Museums Great Friend to Kids award in 2023.

Kathy was declared a “scientific entrepreneur” from the American Association of Psychology. Co-founder of the global Learning Science Exchange Fellowship (LSX), she brings together scientists, journalists, policy makers and entertainers, to put learning science in the hands of educators. In 2021, she was elected as a member of the National Academy of Education. Her initiative Playful Learning Landscapes re-imagines cities and public squares as places with science infused designs that enhance academic and social opportunities. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, is the President of the International Society for Infant Studies and served as the Associate Editor of Child Development. She is on the Board of Zero to Three, the University of Pittsburgh LRDC Advisory Board, the Steering Committee of the Latin American School for Education, Cognitive Neural Science as well as on the advisory board for Vroom, The Boston Children’s Museum, The Free to Be Initiative and Jumpstart. Her book, Einstein never used Flashcards: How children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less, (Rodale Books) won the prestigious Books for Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003. Her book, Becoming Brilliant: What the science tells us about raising successful children, released in 2016 was on the NY Times Best Seller List in Education and Parenting. Her most recent book, Making Schools Work: Bringing the Science of Learning to Joyful Classroom Practice (2022) was co-written by teachers, school administrators and scientist to bring about joyful teaching and deeper learning. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a frequent spokesperson for her field appearing in the NY Times, npr and in international television outlets.

Selected Publications

  • Hirsh-Pasek, K.*, Blinkoff, E.*, Rumper, B., Gibbs, H. M., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2023). The role of science in education policy making. In L. Cohen-Vogel, J. Scott, & PYoungs (Eds.), Handbook of education policy research (2nd ed.). AERA. * = Co-first authors

  • Lee, J. Y*., Wright, C*., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2023). Another case of the theory to practice gap: South Korean early childhood education and care. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 65(4), 385-395. *denotes shared first authorship

  • Pesch, A., Ochoa, K.D, Fletcher, K., Bermudez, V.N., Todaro, R., Salazar, J., Gibbs, 2 H. M., Ahn, J., Bustamante, A.S., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (Dec, 2022). Reinventing the public square and early educational settings through culturally informed, community co-design: Playful Learning Landscapes. Frontiers in Psychology - Educational Psychology.

  • Ma, W., Luo, R., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022). The influence of exemplar variability on young children’s construal of verb meaning. Language Learning and Development. DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2022.2060834

  • Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022). The way out of poverty: Governments must invest in families and children. Child poverty in America: Where do we go from here? The Lab Report, Issue 2, p. 13-16, College of Liberal Arts Public Policy Lab, Temple University.

  • Ma, W., Golinkoff, R. M., Song, L., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2021). Using verb extension to gauge children's verb meaning construals: The case of Chinese. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 572198.

  • Bower, C. A., Foster, L., Zimmermann, L., Verdine, B. N., Marzouk, M., Islam, S., Golinkoff, R. M., & HirshPasek, K. (2020). Three-year-olds’ spatial language comprehension and links with mathematics and spatial performance. Developmental Psychology, 56(10), 1894–1905.

  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2019). Putting your data to good use: Entering the real world of children and families. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(1), 37-42. DOI: 10.1177/17456916188115161.

  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2016). The preschool paradox: It’s time to rethink our approach to early education. SCIENCE, 351, 1158.

  • Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2014). Skype me! Socially contingent interactions help toddlers learn language. Child Development, 956-970.
  • Golinkoff, R. M., Ma, W., Song, L., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2013). Twenty-five years using the intermodal preferential looking paradigm to study language acquisition: What have we learned? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 316-339
  • Roseberry, S., Richie, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Shipley, T. (2011) Babies catch a break: 7-9-month olds track statistical probabilities in continuous dynamic events. Psychological Science. 22, 11, 1422-1444
  • Göksun, T., Hirsh-Pasek, K, & Golinkoff, R. M. (2010). Trading spaces: Carving up events for learning language. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 33-42.
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Singer, D., & Berk, L. (2009). A mandate for playful learning in preschool: Presenting the evidence. NY: Oxford University Press. Forward by Dr. Edward Zigler.
  • Golinkoff, R. M. & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2008). How toddlers begin to learn verbs. Trends in Cognitive Science, 12, 397-403.
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K. Bruer, J. (2007) The Brain/Education Barrier. Science, 317, 1293
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. with Eyer, D. (2003). Einstein never used flash cards: How our children really learn and why they need to play more and memorize less. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press
  • Hollich, G. J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M. (With Hennon, E., Chung, H. L., Rocroi, C., Brand, R. J., & Brown, E.) (2000). Breaking the language barrier: An emergentist coalition model for the origins of word learning. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 65 (3, Serial No. 262).
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (1996). The origins of grammar: Evidence from early language comprehension. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


  • Golinkoff, R.M., deVilliers, J., Iglesias, A., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2022). Baby Quick Interactive language screener: QUILS: Baby. Baltimore, Brookes Publishing.
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M., Nesbitt, K., Lautenbach, C., Blinkoff, E., & Fifer, G. (2022). Making schools work: Bringing the science of learning to joyful classroom practice. Teachers’ College Press.
  • Iglesias, A., de Villiers, J., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Wilson, M. S. (2020). User’s manual for the Quick Interactive Language Screener - ES ™ (QUILS-ES™): A measure of vocabulary, syntax, and language acquisition skills in young bilingual children. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Verdine, B., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Newcombe, N. Spatial thinking: fundamental to school readiness. (2017). Society for Research in Child Development Monograph series. No. 324, 82, 1.
  • Golinkoff, R. & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016) Becoming Brilliant.: What Science tells us about raising successful children. APA Press.

Representative Articles

  • Pace, A., Luo, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R.M. (2017) Identifying pathways between socio-economic status and language development. Annual Review of Linguistics, 3, 285-308.
  • Zosh, J.M, Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Dore, R.A. (2016). Where learning meets creativity: The promise of guided play. In. R. Beghetto & B. Sriraman (Eds.).Creative contradictions in education: Cross disciplinary paradoxes and perspective (pp. 165-180). New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.
  • Reed, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2016). Meeting Children Where They Are: Adaptive Contingency Builds Early Communication Skills.  In P. Witt (Ed.) Communication and learning (Vol. 16, Handbooks of communication science). Berlin: deGruyter Mouton. pp. 601-627.
  • Weisberg, D., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. G., Kittredge, A., & Klahr, D. (2016). Guided play: Principles and practices. Current Directions. 177-182.
  • Pace, A., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2016) High quality language environments leads to high quality learning. In Jones, S. & Lesaux, N. The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education, 45-67.
  • Toub, T. S., Rajan, V., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016) Playful learning: A solution to the play versus learning dichotomy.  In D. Berch & D. Geary (Eds.), Evolutionary perspectives on education and child development.  New York, NY: Springer. 117-145.
  • Pace, A., Levine, D., Morini, G., Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2016) The story of language acquisition: From words to world and back again. In L. Balter and C. Tamis-LeMonda C. (Eds.), Child Psychology: A Handbook of Contemporary Issues, 3rd Edition. 43-79.
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K. & Golinkoff, R.M. (2016) The preschool paradox: It’s time to rethink our approach to early education. SCIENCE, 351, 1158.
  • Morhring, W. Ramsook, K. Hirsh-Pasek, K. Golinkoff, R.M., Newcombe, N. (2016) Where music meets space: Children’s sensitivity to continuous pitch magnitudes is related to mental spatial transformations.  Cognition
  • Levine, D., Strother-Garcia, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Language development in the first year of life: What deaf children might be missing until cochlear implantation. Journal of Otology & Neurotology, 37, 56-62.
  • Golinkoff, R.M., Can, D, Soderstron, M., & Hirsh-Pasek, J. (2015) (Baby) talk to me: The social context of infant-directed speech and its effects on early language acquisition. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 24,5, 339-344.
  • Ridge, K., Weisberg, D., Ilgaz, H., Hirsh-Pasek, K and Golinkoff, R.M. (2015) “Supermarket speak”: Increasing conversations among Low-SES families. Mind, Brain & Education. 9, 3, 127-135.
  • Zosh, J., Filipowicz, A., Verdine, B., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K.  (2015).  Parental language with electronic and traditional and shape sorters. Mind, Brain & Education, 9, 3,136-144
  • Hirsh-Pasek, K., Adamson, L., Bakeman, R.,Golinkoff, R.M., Pace, A., Yust, P. & Suma, K. (2015). The contribution of early communication to low-income children’s language success. Psychological Science. 26, 1071-1083

Courses Taught

  • Honor’s Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognition
  • Language Development

Media Mentions

Kathy Hirsch-Pasek Featured in EdSurge
via EdSurge on June 02, 2022

Kathy Hirsch-Pasek Featured in EdSurge

Professor Kathy Hirsch-Pasek was featured in an EdSurge article on the importance of high-quality childcare.