Three University of Delaware School of Education professors are 2019 AERA Fellows. From left to right: Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, James Hiebert, and Laura Desimone

National Education Honors

University of Delaware holds three of ten national education fellowships

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), the largest national interdisciplinary education research association, has selected 10 researchers as 2019 AERA Fellows, three of whom are University of Delaware School of Education faculty members.

Laura Desimone, College of Education and Human Development director of research and professor, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Chair and professor in the departments of Linguistics and Cognitive Science and Psychological and Brain Sciences, and James Hiebert, Robert J. Barkley Professor, received this honor.

The AERA Fellows program honors education researchers with notable and sustained research accomplishments. This honor recognizes excellence in research as well as scholarship that constitutes and enriches education research as an interdisciplinary field. Fellows are nominated by their peers, selected and recommended by the Fellows Committee, and approved by the AERA Council.

Roberta Golinkoff

With research partner Kathy Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University, Golinkoff has dedicated her career to groundbreaking research on language, literacy, education, and spatial reasoning in the field of developmental psychology in infants and young children. Her work has been recognized with prestigious awards from several organizations, including the Association for Psychological Science and the Society for Research in Child Development.

“Professor Golinkoff has used sensitive research methods that allow her to investigate children’s comprehension of language even before they are actively using it. She has examined children’s early conceptual knowledge and how they come to understand and construct early grammatical forms, with her work on the acquisition of verbs being of singular importance,” said David K. Dickinson, Margaret Cowan Chair in the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. “Through her careful attention to both verbal and nonverbal communication she has helped the field understand how parents and children come to understand each other’s intentions and words and how those linguistic dances nourish children’s long-term development.”

Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek’s most recent book, asserts that the development of six skills are necessary for children to thrive in a 21st century global workplace, experience personal fulfillment, and become concerned citizens. With accessible scientific evidence and illustrative examples from current school practices, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek show how parents and educators can nurture collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence in children.

Golinkoff also actively engages the community through hands-on learning events. In her Playful Learning Landscapes project, Golinkoff works to develop learning environments outside of the traditional classroom space. Through the Playful Learning Landscapes project, Golinkoff and Hirsh-Pasek have showcased the science of how the brain works in New York City’s Central Park, transformed supermarkets to heighten caregiver-child interactions, and mounted a life-sized, human game board designed to encourage STEM learning at Philadelphia’s Please Touch Children’s Museum.

Article by Jessica Henderson. Photo by Evan Krape.

Read the article on the School of Education website.