Dr. Tamara Spiewak Toub
Dr. Tamara Spiewak Toub worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek for 3 years before shifting into her current role as a Research Area Expert at the lab. Broadly, Tamara is interested in the promotion of children’s development through playful and other common activities and in the translation of research findings to application in children’s lives. Tamara continues to contribute her expertise to multiple projects she helped to lead during her fellowship years, including research on the use of adult-supported book-reading and playful learning activities to facilitate preschoolers’ vocabulary development. Similarly, she remains actively involved in the lab’s work examining how involvement in a theater program might benefit
children with autism. These inquiries into developmental benefits of playful experiences connect back to Tamara’s dissertation on the relation between preschoolers’ pretend play and executive function (i.e., self-control). Tamara earned her Ph.D. in developmental psychology at the University of Washington, supervised by Dr. Betty Repacholi and Dr. Stephanie Carlson (University of Minnesota).
Beyond the lab, Tamara consults on the designs of museum exhibits, curricula for educators, and child-oriented community events, and researches gaps between common practices and science-based guidance. Given such gaps, Tamara also leads professional development workshops and writes for general audiences to communicate findings from the learning and developmental sciences to the families, educators, and policy-makers affecting children’s lives.