iOS app Android app

Ellen Galinsky
Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, helped establish the field of work and family life at Bank Street College of Education, where she was on the faculty for twenty-five years. Her more than forty books and reports include Ask The Children, the now-classic The Six Stages of Parenthood, and the bestsellingMind in the Making, published by HarperStudio in April 2010.

At FWI, she co-directs the National Study of the Changing Workforce, the most comprehensive ongoing nationally representative study of the U.S. workforce, the National Study of Employers, an ongoing nationally representative study tracking trends in employment benefits, policies and practices as well as When Work Works, a project on workplace flexibility and effectiveness. Ms. Galinsky directs Mind in the Making, a project on the science of early learning that includes the book, videos for teachers, and learning modules for teachers and for families.

She has received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award from Vassar College. She served as the elected President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in 2005. She holds a Masters in Child Development/ Education from Bank Street College of Education and a BA degree in Child Study from Vassar College. She was a presenter at the White House Conference on Child Care in 1997 and on Teenagers in 2000 and is featured regularly in the media, including appearances on Today, World News Tonight with Charles Gibson, and Oprah.

Entries by Ellen Galinsky

The Science of a Strong Start

(2) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 10:54 AM

Co-authored by Philip David Zelazo, PhD, Stephanie M. Carlson, PhD, and Megan M. McClelland, PhD

In the next few weeks, millions of children across the United States will begin kindergarten. From public school to home school, and everything in between, parents, teachers and caregivers will do all they can to...

Read Post

We Salute You, Gwen Morgan

(10) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 10:06 AM

Recently, my 2-and-a-half year old grandson was visibly upset and I asked him to talk about how he was feeling. He said, "I am very sad and I am very angry."

That is a perfect description of how I feel right now.

I happen to just check Facebook late last...

Read Post

A Tale of Two Cities: Free Range in Silver Spring Versus Supervision in Baltimore

(2) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 12:10 PM

The debate in the media and around the kitchen table continues to gain momentum. Is free range parenting good or bad for children?

This debate has been fueled by several arrests, including those of parents in Silver Spring, MD who allowed their children -- 6- and 10-years-old -- to...

Read Post

Teaching Character Versus Life Skills in Schools: What's the Best Approach?

(2) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 11:16 AM

Should schools teach personality or character? This is the question posed in a recent New York Times op-ed by Anna North. She spells out the crux of the debate:

Self-control, curiosity, "grit" -- these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they're now...
Read Post

White House Summit Recognizes Early Childhood's 'Persistent Army' But Battle Isn't Over

(4) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 11:26 AM

In her opening remarks last week at the White House Summit on Early Education, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President, called the attendees of the Summit "the coalition of the willing." In a panel later that morning, Ralph Smith of the the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, looked...

Read Post

Neuroscience Improves Early Childhood Education Quality

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:44 PM

Who doesn't want the education and care for young children to be high quality? Parents look for it, advocates fight for it, policy makers debate it. But just what is it?

Quality has remained somewhat of a black box in early education, but a just-released study conducted by New...

Read Post

Dads Spending Time on Baby, Not Baby Talk

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 12:59 PM

Co-authored with Jackie Bezos

Fathers want to step up at home when it comes to caring for their children.

But stepping up involves speaking up -- to their babies -- which they may be less likely to do, according to a new study just published in the December 2014 issues...

Read Post

Back-to-School Message: Stop Helicoptering, Start Teaching Self Control

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 4:45 PM

It is back to school time, but rather than waxing nostalgic about our memories (those smells of chalk, mixed with industrial strength cleaning fluid, those endless echoing halls, stacked-up lockers and glimpses of friends who seemed transformed by summer) or worrying about how your children are going to fare (do...

Read Post

White House Summit on Working Families Marks a 'New Movement'

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 10:26 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama called the White House Summit the beginning of a movement, a movement for working families. In many ways the Summit, held on June 23rd, felt like a movement, a combination of a political pep rally and a church service with crowds of true believers...

Read Post

For Father's Day, Get Rid Working-Father Myths

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 12:23 PM

A White House Conference on Working Fathers was a long-time coming but in the end, it was worth waiting for. Held on June 9th, it revealed that there is still a lot of confusion around men and their roles and we need a reset on what we actually know, especially...

Read Post

State of the US Workplace: Good and Bad News

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 10:29 AM

NSE 2014As the United States moves slowly out of the worst recession it has experienced since the Great Depression, how have employers responded?

The ongoing National Study of Employers -- a study of employers with 50 or...

Read Post

Mindsets About Women and Work Need a Reboot

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 3:12 PM

The headlines last week were that the number of stay-at-home moms is rising. A new Pew Research Center analysis of government data finds that after decades of remaining flat, the percentage of mothers who do not have jobs have jumped up from 23 percent to 29...

Read Post

Employee Burnout: Come on, Boss, Relight My Fire!

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 1:02 PM

Are you feeling overworked?

If you are, you are in good company. One in three U.S. employees feels this way. In this 24/7 world where we can be connected all of the time, where there are fewer boundaries between working and not working, more and more of...

Read Post

What Really Drives Success: Lessons For Tiger Mom

(2) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 6:51 AM

Amy Chua is back in the news, this time with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, and they're taking on the quintessential American question 'What drives success and how do we instill those traits in our children?'

In her first book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom, Chua extrapolated from...

Read Post

War-On-Poverty Debate Largely Ignores Employer Role

(1) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 3:41 PM

January marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and it is natural to take stock -- how successful have we been in combatting poverty, where do we need to go, how will we get there and most importantly, what are the most effective engines of change?


Read Post

Kids These Days

(4) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 5:45 PM

At a lunchtime discussion group at the Iowa early childhood conference this week, the teachers were talking about the kids they know and teach. Actually, they were worrying about kids these days.

Okay, educators have always worried about kids--for as long as I have been in the field and...

Read Post

Reading Time's a Missed Opportunity for Life-Skills Learning

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 7:58 AM

For a long time, we've been told, "read to children!" As important as this message is, it has frustrated me. It's not JUST reading to children that matters; it is HOW we read to children that has benefits for us and for them.

This may sound like a guilt-trip, but...

Read Post

Preschool for All: Getting It Right

(26) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 2:15 PM

I never, ever thought I would hear a president of the United States, much less a president in the State of the Union address, call for universal preschool. But two nights ago, I listened to President Obama do just this:

Tonight, I propose working with states to...
Read Post

FibbStrong: What to Teach Kids About Lying

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 1:29 PM

For the near future it will be Lance Armstrong, all the time and everywhere, confessing his history of lying and revenge against those who tried to tell the truth. For those of us who cheered his wins, his recovery from cancer and the Livestrong Foundation, it is heartbreaking...

Read Post

Talking to Young Children About the Death of Young Children

(2) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 5:12 PM

The front pages of newspapers show hearses lined up and the headlines talk of the mournful task of saying goodbye. An 8-year-old child is quoted in a New York Times article, speaking of his six-year-old friend, Jack Pinto: "I used to do everything with him. We liked to...

Read Post