CULVER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Encantos, the global creator platform empowering Storyteachers from around the world to help kids learn 21st-century skills, today announced that award-winning educator and pioneer in the science of playful learning Professor Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D become Encantos’ first Creator-in-Residence. Hirsh-Pasek will bring her decades of experience to collaborate with the Encantos team as the company builds its direct-to-learner creator platform.
Hirsh-Pasek is a Professor of Psychology at Temple University, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and was named a “scientific entrepreneur” by the American Association of Psychology. With her long-term collaborator, Professor Roberta Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek is the author of 16 books and has published more than 250 scientific publications. Their book Einstein Never Used Flashcards won the Books for a Better Life Award and their book Becoming Brilliant reached the NYTimes Best Seller List in Education and Parenting. Hirsh-Pasek has also served as President of the International Congress for Infant Studies, is on the Governing Board of the Society for Research in Child Development, and in 2021 was elected to the National Academy of Education.
“I’m overjoyed to be working with a team that brings stories to life for young kids in a way that is informed by the science of learning,” said Hirsh-Pasek. “I believe deeply in learning through play and know that we are experiencing tectonic shifts in education driven by technology, media, and the pandemic. It has been a dream of mine to re-imagine education in and out of school. The innovators at Encantos can help realize that dream.”
In addition to her academic work, Hirsh-Pasek has collaborated with scientists and educators on two important initiatives. The first is Playful Learning Landscapes, which is committed to transforming cityscapes by fostering the creation of playful learning infrastructure and activities in the everyday spaces in cities and neighborhoods. Playful Learning Landscapes enhances children’s cognitive and social development, better preparing them for success in the 21st-century. The second is the Ultimate Playbook, which uses a playful learning framework built on the science of learning to re-think the future of classrooms. Working with school districts and the educators that empower them, Ultimate Playbook uses human-centered design and community strengths to change educator mindsets and behaviors in ways that are culturally sensitive, equitable, and educational.
Playful Learning embraces the idea that students can learn through all types of play, but that students learn best through “guided play” that offers rich learning goals delivered in a playful pedagogy. Guided play is realized through a curated play environment (e.g., classroom, children’s museum) where children take the lead in a well designed context or when adults follow children’s leads to support their learning. Guided play includes active, engaged, meaningful, socially interactive, and fun activities with a learning goal.
Outside of the classroom, Hirsh-Pasek is a creator who was part of a team that developed the Ethical Start Program for the Jewish Community Centers of North America and has produced several albums of children’s music. She is also one of the founders of the innovative Learning Science Exchange that encourages cohorts of scientists, entertainers, journalists, policy experts, and social entrepreneurs to break through traditional silos as they create innovative products and activities to benefit young children and their families.
“Kathy is a legend and literally wrote the book on playful learning. We have been inspired by her work since we founded the company,” said Encantos CEO Steven Wolfe Pereira. “To bring Kathy into our family as a Creator-in-Residence is a dream come true. She is more than just an educator, Kathy is the true embodiment of our Storyteacher. We can’t wait to see how she will help kids learn 21st-century skills.”
As part of her role as Creator-in-Residence, Hirsh-Pasek will advise Encantos in three primary areas:
- Reimagining education for the 21st-century: Advise Encantos on outreach into what education “could be'' if it were informed by the science of learning. Encantos and Hirsh-Pasek will work together to scale a mindset change around how children learn and what they need to learn to thrive. Encantos will partner with Hirsh-Pasek and her team’s Ultimate Playbook framework for reimagining education into its creator platform and creator tools.
- Reimagining digital and physical products for kids to learn 21st-century skills: Advising Encantos on the design, development and delivery of digital and physical products informed by the latest science on how children learn.
- Reimagining experiences for kids to learn 21st-century skills: Advise Encantos on how best to extend the learning into experiences beyond a screen. Encantos and Hirsh-Pasek will collaborate with the Playful Learning Landscapes initiative to bring inclusive, science-informed physical installations into community spaces with the goal of creating new intergenerational public squares in cities around the world.
“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the way kids learn,” said Encantos Chief Impact Officer and President of Encantos.org Anna María Chávez. “As a public benefit corporation (PBC), we are making a purposeful and meaningful impact on what and how kids learn by democratizing, diversifying, and personalizing learning - because it’s not just what you learn but also how you learn that matters. Kathy is the thought-leader when it comes to learning through play and by having her work with Encantos, we can scale her science-based approach to kids around the world.”
About Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a Professor of Psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution was declared a “scientific entrepreneur” from the American Association of Psychology. Writing 16 books and 250+ publications, many with co-author Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, she served as President of the International Congress for Infant Studies and is on the Governing Board of the Society for Research in Child Development. Her Einstein Never Used Flashcards won the Book for a Better Life Award in 2003 with her Becoming Brilliant (2016) reaching the NYTimes Best Sellers List in education. Hirsh-Pasek won awards from every psychological and educational society for her basic science and translational work designed to bridge basic science and educational impact. A founding member of the Latin American School for Educational and Cognitive Neuroscience, she spearheaded a global network of scientists devoted to educational science. Co-founder of the global Learning Science Exchange Fellowship, 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 newest initiative Playful Learning Landscapes re-imagines cities and public squares as places with science-infused designs that enhance academic and social opportunities. Hirsh-Pasek frequently comments for the press (e.g. NPR, NYT) and blogs for the Brookings Institution. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Encantos is a storyteaching platform empowering creators from around the world to help kids learn 21st-century skills. With diversity, equality and inclusion at the core of everything it does, Encantos is bringing together creators who want to teach with kids who want to learn in fun, engaging and effective ways. Committed to its mission of democratizing, diversifying and personalizing learning for kids around the world, Encantos is an award-winning education technology company and has been honored by Common Sense Media, the Emmy’s and Kidscreen; has been featured by CNBC, Forbes and The New York Times; and was named by Fast Company one of “The 10 most innovative education companies of 2021.” Headquartered in Culver City, Calif., Encantos is a public benefit corporation backed by purpose-driven investors including Concrete Rose Capital, Human Ventures, Kapor Capital, L’ATTITUDE Ventures, Metrodora Ventures, Next Play Ventures, and Precursor Ventures. For more information, visit encantosworld.com and follow @encantos on Instagram and Twitter.