Children in densely populated and under-resourced areas often need inspiring and thoughtful teachers. Margaret Beale Spencer researches how children build resiliency, identity, and self-esteem, and how well-trained teachers can set a solid example for students. Her experiments identified that children as young as three years old learn discriminatory tendencies, but that these tendencies can be reversed with training. Spencer designed a CNN study to test racial bias in children. In addition to other major sources of recognition, she was awarded the 2006 Fletcher Fellowship, which recognized work that furthers the broad social goals of the US Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision. Her vulnerability and resiliency focused human development theorizing guides an ongoing program of research on how effective coping strategies can result in healthy outcomes for adolescents in stressful environments, and how teacher/student interactions can be guided to maximize learning.
APS Fellow Robert Plomin has received the 2020 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his research on how DNA shapes personality. More
APS Fellow Stephen Hinshaw has received the 2019 Ruane Prize for his work on the developmental psychopathology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. More
The strategies children use to search for rewards in their environment could be used to create more sophisticated forms of artificial intelligence. More