George E. Forman, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, University of Massachusetts and CEO, Videatives, Inc. is a well known author of books on Jean Piaget and early childhood education, including The Child's Construction of Knowledge, co-authored with David Kuschner and Constructive Play, co-authored with Fleet Hill. Dr. Forman has also published books in the areas of early symbolic development (Action and Thought) and the educational value of computers (Constructivism in the Computer Age), co-edited with Peter Pufall.
Dr. Forman served as a research psychologist at Project Zero at Harvard University. Internationally, he has worked with the Indian government to develop participatory exhibits for young children throughout India. He is also co-inventor of The Gravity Wall which can be found in more than 200 children's museums world wide.
Since 1986 Dr. Forman has been working with the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy to bring their educational model to prominence in the United States. He has published extensively on this topic and lectured internationally as well.
Dr. Forman is a past-president of the Jean Piaget Society, was on its board for ten years and is a charter member of this society. He served on the board of directors for the Association for Constructivist Teaching as well as on the editorial boards for The Journal of Research in Childhood Education, The Early Childhood Research Quarterly and currently for the ERIC electronic journal Early Childhood Research and Practice, Revista Portuguesa de Educacao, and Innovations, The International Reggio Exchange. Dr. Forman has also served as an early education advisor to the Lego company.
Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, Ph. D., is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Professor in the Department of Psychology at Temple University, where she serves as Director of the Infant Language Laboratory. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Hirsh-Pasek has written 9 books. Her popular press book with Dr. Roberta Golinkoff entitled How Babies Talk , New York: Dutton/Penguin (2000) received wide acclaim and has been translated into Italian, German, French and Spanish. Her recent 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. The book speaks to ways in which scientific findings in the child development literature can translate into educational practice. Professor Hirsh-Pasek has published 100 professional articles and has given over 80 invited lectures around the world. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health and Human Development. She is a Fellow to the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society and serves as the Associate Editor of Child Development, the leading journal in her field and as treasurer of the International Association for Infant Studies.
Kathy has a strong interest in bridging the gap between research and application. To that end, she served as an investigator on the NICHD Study of Early Child Care, and is on the research council for America’s Promise, an organization started by Colin Powell. She has been a spokesperson on early development for national magazines and newspapers (The NY Times, People, USNews & World Report, NewsweekParent’s Magazine, Parenting) radio and television (The View, Good Morning America, 20/20, NPR, ABC News, CBS Morning Show), and is a consultant for Fisher Price Toys, Highlights, K’NEX, The Cartoon Network, and a host of Children’s Museums across North America. Finally, she is co-founder of An Ethical Start, a curricular program in moral development for children ages 3 through 5. This program, created for the Jewish Community Centers of North America was funded by Stephen Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.
Deborah Linebarger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, has conducted research for the past 10 years examining the impact of media use on the development of young children. During this time, her work has focused on describing the effects of early and concurrent television viewing on adolescent academic and social outcomes, the use of print on television to improve literacy skills in preschool through 3 rd graders, and the relationship between media use and language development in infants and toddlers. Her interests include the features found in children’s educational television, computer software, the internet, and video games that evoke and sustain attention as well as the contextual factors (e.g., perceptions of media, mediation of the experience, gender) that potentially mediate this attention and subsequent comprehension. Currently, her research combines interests in basic research using eye movement technology with intervention research examining applications of media to the acquisition of literacy skills for American Indian Head Start children in New Mexico.
Diana (Dee) Smith teaches in the Early Childhood Program at the University of Vermont, and is Head Teacher with the Campus Children's Center’s Infant/Toddler Program. She is actively engaged with staff and students in the study of documentation as a process that promotes inquiry, reflection, and collaboration among all the protagonists of a learning community. Dee has published in early childhood education journals and books such as Early Childhood Education Journal, Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio Exchange, First steps: Toward teaching the Reggio way, Teaching and Learning: Collaborative explorations of the Reggio Emilia approach, and Poking, Pinching and Pretending: Documenting toddler’s explorations with clay. She is also studying how other disciplines, e.g. geography, qualitative research, anthropology, and media explorations, inform our understanding of and practice with children.