Elena Bodrova is currently the Knowledge Advisor at Tools of the Mind. She has worked on applying Lev Vygotsky’s theory to education at Russia’s Institute for Preschool Education and in the United States at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Bodrova is the author of multiple articles and book chapters on early literacy, assessment, play, and self-regulation. She is a coauthor of Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education; Assessing and Guiding Young Children’s Development and Learning; and Basics of Assessment: A Primer for Early Childhood Professionals. Deborah Leong is cofounder and president of Tools of the Mind. She is professor emerita of Developmental and Educational Psychology at Metropolitan State University. She developed Tools of the Mind with Elena Bodrova. She has coauthored numerous articles, books, and videos on play, the Vygotskian approach to education, self-regulation and executive functions development in preschool and kindergarten, and assessment and measurement in the early-childhood classroom. She worked as a consultant for Sesame Street, and she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad de Patagonia in Argentina.
Rachel M. Flynn is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University. Her primary research examines media’s impact on children’s cognitive development. Her publications include “Cognitive Development and Gaming in the Digital Age”; “Children’s Attention to Screen-based Pedagogical Supports: An Eye-tracking Study with Low-income Preschool Children in the United States”; “Cognitive, Not Physical, Engagement in Videogaming Influences Executive Functioning”; and” Parents Support Preschoolers’ Use of a Novel Interactive Device.” Rebekah A. Richert is an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of California, Riverside. She examines how the fantastical content and characters in children’s media can both support and hinder children’s learning from books, videos, and interactive games. Her publications include “Media as Social Partners: The Social Nature of Young Children’s Learning from Screen Media”; “The Role of Fantasy- Reality Distinctions in Preschoolers’ Learning from Educational Programs”; “US Preschoolers’ Trust of and Learning from Media Characters”; and “Word Learning from Baby Videos.” Ellen A. Wartella is the Al-thani Professor of Communication Studies, and Director of the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University. She currently edits Social Policy Reports for the Society for Research in Child Development. Her publications include “Factors Influencing Digital Technology Use in Early Childhood Education”; “Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents”; “Babies, Television, and Videos: How Did We Get Here?”; and “Digital Technology and Families.”
Kim Foulds is the Senior Director of International Research & Evaluation at Sesame Workshop. She oversees research and evaluation on Sesame Workshop’s international coproductions and community engagement interventions. Her scholarship has been published in International Journal of Educational Development; Gender and Education; Development in Practice; Gender, Place, and Culture; Studies in Social Justice; The Conversation Africa; Education as Change; and International Higher Education. Abigail Bucuvalas is Senior Director of Educational Programs in the International Social Impact Department at Sesame Workshop where she leads the department’s education team, overseeing curriculum development, creation of multimedia teaching and learning materials, and intervention design for Sesame’s international early education, health, and humanitarian response programming. Prior to joining Sesame Workshop, Bucuvalas collaborated on health research in the United States and overseas.
Erica S. Weisgram is a Professor of Developmental Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she leads the Gender Development Research Lab. Her publications include Gender Typing of Children’s Toys: How Early Play Experiences Impact Development, “Predictors of Gender-Typed Toy Purchases by Mothers and Nonparents”; “Gender Typing of Toys in Historical and Contemporary Contexts”; and “The Cognitive Construction of Gender Stereotypes: Evidence for the Dual Pathways Model of Gender Differentiation.”