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Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
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Entries by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

The Trickle Down Theory of Racism or Why the Republican Discourse Matters for Children

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2016 | 1:05 PM

We have heard it all before -- or at least we thought we have. Parents can't let their kids watch the Republican debates because they don't want their children hearing trash talk between adults. One CNN commentator said his 7-year-old son called him a "liar" but didn't really know what...

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Missing the message: What do children really learn from educational media?

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 6:11 PM

This blog post was written by our wonderful postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Rebecca Dore.

"It's a twain," almost 3-year-old Amanda said when I asked her to name the picture. But Amanda thought that trains were magical and only existed in Thomas the Tank Engine videos. How was she supposed to know?...

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The Timely Death of No Child Left Behind: 2001-2015

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 12:18 PM

This month, we sat shiva for the No Child Left Behind Act, otherwise known as NCLB, that passed away at 3:00 P.M. in Washington, DC on Thursday, December 10th. We do not mourn its loss. Unlike the traditional shiva, we celebrate not its life's achievements, but reflect on its shortcomings....

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Unlikely Bedfellows? Cambridge University and the Lego Company

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 9:58 PM

"Play" has become a 4-letter word -- something to tolerate until children "grow out of it." Yet numerous studies document the importance of play for young children's socio-emotional growth, academic and physical development. Despite this research, our public schools minimize the frequency of play in classrooms. Play is seen as...

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Who Needs the Starling?: A Cautionary Tale

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 12:42 PM

You gotta be kidding! Something new is on the market that many middle class families will want. It is called the Starling. It is a little microphone babies wear on their clothes to record the amount of language spoken to them. The cost? $129 dollars. Who will buy this? Will...

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A Conversation About Conversations

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 3:48 PM

The regional rail station was the first stop on my 2-hour journey to Washington where I would deliver a talk on the art of conversation. Twelve people sat spaced on various benches, wrapped in warm winter garb that would shield them from the impending 2 feet of snow due to...

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A Chance Encounter Left Me Thinking...

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 9:37 AM

He was down on the floor in a little navy pea coat and crying. Each ear had a little diamond earring and he was so sweet looking with his close cropped haircut and big brown eyes. Well dressed too, his mother, saying not a word to him, was trying to...

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The Missing Piece: Discovering the Joy in Parent-Child Reading

(3) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 10:55 AM

The message is LOUD and crystal clear. Economists have blessed it. Non-profit organizations have projected it on billboards and blasted it in texts. And educators are celebrating it. Parents and caregivers must read to children -- even to babies -- if these kids are going to be ready for success...

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Time Travel to the Past! Welcome to School

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 6:54 PM

As summer turns to fall and parents are buying children their new backpacks, it is time to think of how our schools work and whether they are inspiring true learning. The schools of today are largely those of our great-grandparents. While white boards may have replaced blackboards and DVDs are...

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Self-Regulation: Just as Important as Learning Your ABCs and 123s

(3) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 4:00 PM

Co-written with Vinaya Rajan, Ph.D

One of our wonderful postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Vinaya Rajan, wrote this piece with us. And with school about to start....

During story time, Emily had trouble paying attention to the teacher and squirmed and wiggled in her seat. She noticed a blue jay sitting...

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Does Play Matter?

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:47 PM

What if your children are malnourished and small for their age? What if you live in a developing country where most children are living in extreme poverty? You would feel defeated; it would be hard for you to see a way out for your children. You would worry that they...

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Thank You Coke: Why Embracing Multiculturalism Is Smart

(1) Comments | Posted February 8, 2014 | 12:41 AM

Thank you Coke for starting the national conversation on multilingualism in the United States. Muchas gracias a Coca Cola por iniciar la conversación nacional sobre el multilingüismo en los Estados Unidos.

Your inspiring commercial on Super Bowl Sunday reminded all that the demographics of our American "melting pot"...

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A Chip Off the Old Block? Block Play May Help Children's Spatial and Mathematical Thinking

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 12:02 PM

We love technology. If it talks to us, requires a charge and responds to a touch, we gotta have it. But is the same true for our kids? Although they love these devices too -- just ask any parent with an iPhone or tablet -- should parents be tempted to...

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Active, Engaged, Meaningful and Interactive: Putting the 'Education' Back in Educational Apps

(2) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 3:24 PM

The holiday season is behind us, leaving in its wake newly-unwrapped gifts and a host of stimulating digital toys and games intricately designed to build our brains for the new world order. As parents, we are overwhelmed -- dare we say flummoxed -- by the sheer amount of so-called "educational"...

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Ooh La La: Why Can't We Be More Like France?

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 2:53 PM

While I like a good croissant as well as the next person, what I really like about the French is that they get the importance of supporting working families and their children. We remember when one of our colleagues (a single mom at the time) did a sabbatical in France...

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Ignore the Latest Research? Is Nicolas Day Kidding?

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 3:59 PM

We read the headline with disbelief -- "Dear Parents, Please Ignore the Latest Research." Was this Nicolas Day writing in The New York Times? Nah -- could not be. So we clicked on the article and started to read. At least it caught our attention. But really? Did...

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Why Johnny (and Jenny) Can't Read

(13) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Poor Johnny. Since 1975, we have known about this pesky achievement gap that just won't go away. Rich kids score better than poor kids in math and reading. While math scores have edged up a bit over the years, reading scores are inching along at a relatively steady pace, to...

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Making Sense (Not Just Cents) From Big Data

(1) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 5:14 PM

They are watching you. Every time you swipe your card at your local gas station they are watching you. Every time you buy a book from they are watching you. Every time you send a message from your computer keyboard, they are watching you. Every time you walk down...

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'Hear' to Stay: Cochlear Implants for Babies? Oh My!

(4) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 1:05 PM

Welcome to the indistinguishable boundary between sci-fi and the real world, to a world in which technology lets blind children see and deaf children hear, where limbs can be replaced and where the bionic person runs in the Olympics. Such is the world brought to us, in part, by the...

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Where's the Beef? Obama's Valentine to Early Education

(7) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 6:39 PM

We are starting to think that all good things start in Chicago. First, President Obama makes statements about the importance of preschool for our nation's children in his State of the Union address. Did you hear the collective jaw drop from people who study children for a living (like us)...

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