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Institute of Child Development and MN Children's Museum partnership grows

1minnesota-childrens-museum.jpgThe Institute of Child Development and the Minnesota Children's Museum, with a shared goal of making a positive impact on children's development, have announced the formation of a Research Advisory Council to build and sustain an ongoing institutional connection.

The council will guide the museum in applying and disseminating research that can improve children's learning and parenting practices. It also will give museum leadership feedback on important decisions about the museum exhibits, programs, and outreach and flag relevant findings on social, economic, and other trends that are likely to influence children and families the museum serves.

"Minnesota Children's Museum is honored to work with this distinguished group of scholars and early childhood experts," said Dianne Krizan, museum president. "This powerful partnership will influence how the museum achieves its mission of sparking children's learning through play and will benefit scholars in translating research into action that will benefit our community."

The partnership began earlier this year when the museum commissioned a research summary on the role of play in early learning and development. The research validated the importance of playful learning for a child's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development and identified new opportunities for discovery in the early childhood field.

"The value of play in child development is clear," said Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor, director of the Institute of Child Development, and chair of the council. "We are excited by the opportunity to partner with a respected early childhood organization like Minnesota Children's Museum to learn more about this important element of childhood and to help parents effectively support their children's development."

Members of the council include:


  • Dr. Megan Gunnar, department chair and director of the Institute of Child Development

  • Dr. Stephanie Carlson, associate professor and director of research, Institute of Child Development

  • Barbara Murphy, director, Shirley G. Moore Lab School, Institute of Child Development

  • Pete Ralston, department administrator, Institute of Child Development

  • Dr. Glenn Roisman, professor, Institute of Child Development

  • Dr. Albert Yonas, professor, Institute of Child Development

  • Dr. Sara Langworthy, policy coordinator, Children, Youth, and Family Consortium

  • Dr. Michele M Mazzocco, professor, research director, Center for Early Education and Development

  • Dr. Amy Susman-Stillman, Co-Director of Center for Early Education and Development

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