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Laura E. Berk Ph.D.


Laura E. Berk, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Psychology Emerita at Illinois State University. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master's and doctoral degrees in child development and educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She has published in the field of early childhood development, focusing on the effects of school environments on children’s development, the development of children’s private speech, and the role of make-believe play in the development of self-regulation. Her books include Private Speech: From Social Interaction to Self-Regulation(Erlbaum), Scaffolding Children’s Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education (NAEYC), and Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference (Oxford University Press). She is the author of three textbooks in child and human development: Child Development; Infants, Children, and Adolescents; and Development Through the Lifespan (Pearson). Berk serves as associate editor of the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology. She is a frequent contributor to edited volumes on early childhood development and is currently preparing the chapter on sociodramatic play and self-regulation for the Handbook of Play and Learning in Early Childhood (Sage). She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division 7: Developmental Psychology.