Professor of Education | Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA

Imagination and Testimony in Children's Learning

Short Bio

Paul Harris is a developmental psychologist with interests in the development of cognition, emotion and imagination. After studying psychology at Sussex and Oxford, he taught at the University of Lancaster, the Free University of Amsterdam and the London School of Economics. In 1980, he moved to Oxford where he became Professor of Developmental Psychology and Fellow of St John's College. In 2001, he migrated to Harvard where he holds the Victor S. Thomas Professorship of Education. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. His book on children’s understanding of emotion – ‘Children and Emotion’ – appeared in 1989 and his book on play and imagination – ‘The Work of the Imagination’ ¬– in 2000. He currently studies how young children learn about history, science and religion on the basis of what trusted informants tell them. His latest book – ‘Trusting what you’re told: How children learn from others’ – describing this research, was published by Harvard University Press (2012). It has received the Eleanor Maccoby award from the American Psychological Association and the Book Award of the Cognitive Development Society. In 2015, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.