Books Articles & Media

Published: February 8, 2011

Buy Red Flags and Red Herrings
Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life REAL KIDS: CREATING MEANING IN EVERYDAY LIFE

Published: October 3, 2005

Buy Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life
Context Is Everything: The Nature of Memory CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING: THE NATURE OF MEMORY

Published: April 15, 2000

Buy Context Is Everything: The Nature of Memory
The Stories Children Tell: Making Sense of the Narratives of Childhood THE STORIES CHILDREN TELL: MAKING SENSE OF THE NARRATIVES OF CHILDHOOD

Published: March 1995

Buy The Stories Children Tell: Making Sense of the Narratives of Childhood
New York Times
Published: March 14, 2011
ABC News
Published: February 11, 2011
New York Times
Published: September 19, 2010
There's Only One Way To Stop A Bully THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY TO STOP A BULLY
New York Times
Published: July 22, 2010
New York Times
Published: February 1, 2010
New York Times
Published: November 1, 2009
An Immodest Proposal AN IMMODEST PROPOSAL: How We Should Educate Today's Children
Williams College
Published: July 1, 2010
Bullying: When Should I Intervene? BULLYING: WHEN SHOULD I INTERVENE?
The Daily Beast
Published: December 10, 2010
Test to the Teach TEST TO THE TEACH
Huffington Post
Published: September 28, 2010

Full CV
December 2008

1023 Mill River Great Barrington Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-0569


Developmental Psychology Program
Graduate Center, City University of New York
Ph.D., June 1986
Dissertation Title--Learning to Reminisce: A Developmental
Study of How Young Children Talk About the Past

Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY
B.A., June, 1980


NICHD Training Fellow in Developmental Psychology
Grant, 1980-84

Alumnae Scholar of the Year
Sarah Lawrence College, 1980

Nelson Bushnell award for Teaching and Writing,
awarded by Williams College, June 1999

Grant from The Spencer Foundation, Curiosity in the
Classroom, 2005-2007

Grant from The Spencer Foundation: Conference to design new
educational outcomes: October 2010


July 1998-Present

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Director of Program in Teaching
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267


Bennington College
Bennington, VT 05201
Professor of Psychology, Director of Graduate Studies, founder of
K-12 MAT Program


Department of Psychology
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267

Spring 1994

Visiting Professor, Department of Child Study
Smith College
Northampton, MA


Simon's Rock of Bard College
Great Barrington, MA 01230


Berkshire Community College
Pittsfield, MA



March 2011

Red Flags or Red Herrings: Predicting Who Your Child Will Become, New York: Simon and Schuster

October 2005

Real Kids: Creating Meaning in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press


Context is Everything: The Nature of Memory, New York, W. H. Freeman & Co.

January 1995

The Stories Children Tell: Making Sense of the Narratives of Childhood, New York: W. H. Freeman & Co.


Feb 2010

Playing to Learn, Op-ed for New York Times


What Schools Can Do to Encourage Great Teaching: Editorial for On Board, the Publication of the NY State School Board Association

Dec 2009

Editorial for Teachers College Record on Teacher Training

Nov 2009

Teach Your Teachers Well, Op-ed for New York Times

August 2009

Is curiosity vanishing? The Journal of Child Psychiatry

February 2009

What Good is College Teaching? Forum Futures: Proceedings from the Aspen Symposium on Higher Education, Feb. 2009

October 2008

with Kellie Randall ’07. How Teachers Respond to Children’s Inquiry, American Educational Research Journal.

February 2008

What is Good College Teaching? In M. McPherson and M. Schapiro (Eds.) College Success: What it means and how to make it happen. New York: The College Board

Jan 2007-08

Lessons: Regular Column on teaching for The New York Times

November 2007

But Can He Teach? Book Chapter for House Unauthorized, Texas: BenBella Books.

April 2007

Harry’s Curiosity. Book Chapter for Psychology of Harry Potter, Texas: BenBella Books.

June 2006

Open Pandora’s Box: The Development of Curiosity. Occasional Papers, Sarah Lawrence Institute of Child Development, NY.

November 2005

The Narrative Worlds of What Is and What If. In A. Nickopolou (Ed.). A special issue of Cognitive Development.


Review of “How We Eat: Appetite, Culture, and the Psychology of Food” by Leon Rappoport, Toronto: ECW Press. Gastronomica, 4.

What Children’s Stories Tell Us About Children’s Experience. In D. Hogan & S. Greene (Eds.). Studies of Children’s Experience, London, England: Elsevier Press.

Do Children Gossip? The development of shared meanings (with Alice Li). In J. Lacariello, J.A. Hudson, R. Fivush, & P.J. Bauer (Eds.). The mediated mind: Essays in honor of Katherine Nelson. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Educational Leadership. In J.M. Burns & G.R. Goethals (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Leadership, Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group.


My Harmless Inside Heart Turned Green: Children's Narratives and their Inner Lives. In B. Van Oers (Ed.), Children's Narrative Development. University of Netherlands Press.

Children’s Life Writing. In Encyclopedia of Life Writing, London, England: Fitzroy Dearborn Press.

Story Telling by Children (with Robert Kavanaugh). In L. Balter (Ed.), Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia, Santa Barbara, California: ABC/CLIO.


Peeking Through the Curtain: Narratives as the boundary between secret and known. In E. Goodenough (Ed.) The Secret Spaces of Childhood: Special Issue of Michigan Quarterly Review

April 1999

Looking Backwards: How Authors Recall Their Childhood, Journal of Aesthetic Education


The Development of Play and Narrative in Early Childhood (with Robert Kavanaugh, Williams College) in O.N. Saracho and B. Spodek (Eds.) Play in Early Childhood Education. New York: SUNY Press.


How to Read the Work of Child Authors, Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, 229-235

Dec. 1996

The guy who went up the steep nicken: The emergence of story telling during the first three years. Zero to Three, 17(3)1-9.

July 1996

In the Fields of Memory: Book Review of The Remembering Self. Journal of American Psychology, Vol. 109, No.2.

August 1993

Metaphors and Knowledge: A Review. New Ideas in Psychology. New York: Pergamon Press.

August 1993

Children's Bursts of Creativity, Journal of Creativity Research


Engel, S. and Franklin, M., Children's Aesthetics and The Environment, Guest Editors of Special issue of Children's Environments Quarterly.


Berlin, R., Olson, M., Cano, C. & Engel, S. Metaphor and Psychotherapy. Journal of Psychotherapy.


Engel, S. Metaphors: How are they different for the poet, the child, and the every day adult? New Ideas In Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 1, New York: Pergamon Press.


Students, Teachers and Scientists: A Review. Children's Environments Quarterly, NY.


The decontextualization of word meaning within an event context. In K. Nelson (Ed), Event Knowledge: Structure and Function in Development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.


Nelson, K., Engel, S. & Kyratzis, A. The evolution of word meaning in context. Journal of Pragmatics, England.


September 2008

The Wilder Side of Children’s Thinking, Invited Address University of Connecticut Storrs, CT.

June 2008

What Good is College Teaching? Presentation at the Aspen Conference on Higher Education, Aspen Institute CO

June 2007

What is good college teaching? Presentation at the Spencer-Macalester Conference on Higher Education, Chicago, IL.

June 2006

Open Pandora’s Box: Curiosity in the classroom Robert Wright Lecture. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.


“Back to the Start of The Universe- The Narratives of a Boy with Autism”, with Christie Schueler ’04 Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, San Diego CA

March 2005

“The Narrative Impulse” Annual meetings of NAAE, Boston MA.

June 2003

“The Narrative Worlds of What Is and What If” Annual Meeting of the Piaget Society, Chicago, IL

August 2001

“The Othello Study: The Experiential Basis for a Theory of Mind,” with Robert Kavanaugh Paper Presented at the 10th International Conference on Developmental Psychology, Upsalla, Sweden

August 2001

“My Harmless Inside Heart Turned Green: Children’s Narratives and Inner Lives” Keynote Address for the 11 International Conference on Early Childhood, Alkmaar, Netherlands

April 2001

“Gender Differences in Autobiographical Narratives: What’s the Story? with Amy Sprengelmeyer Paper Presented at Biannual Meetings of Society for Research Child Development, MN

“ Who is Really In Grandmother’s Bed?” with Robert Kavanaugh, Amy Sprengelmeyer, Kathryn Kavanaugh Paper Presented at Biannual Meetings of Society for Research in Child Development, MN

May 2001

Invited Colloquium, Department of Psychology, Clark University

August 2001

“The Othello Study: The Experiential Basis for Theory of Mind” with Robert Kavanaugh, Kathryn Kavanaugh, Amy Sprengelmeyer Paper presented at the 10th Congress of the International Society for Developmental Psychology, Upsalla, Sweden.

“My Harmless Inside Heart Turned Green: What narratives can tell us about children’s inner lives” Keynote Address at the 11th European Conference on Early Childhood, Alkmaar,The Netherlands

December 1999

“Context Is Everything: Memory and the Courts” Invited Address to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

November 1999

“The Uses of Memory” Invited Address at Bucknell University, PA

April 1999

“The Earliest Autobiographies” Poster Presentation at the Biannual meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development, Albuquerque, NM.

April 1999

“Rethinking Developmental Stages: Teaching Mixed Age Classrooms” Presentation at the Biannual meetings of The Society for Research in Child Development, Albuquerque, NM

April 1997

“Trial Balloons: Preschool Children Talk about the Past” Poster presented at the Biannual Meetings of The Society for Research in Child Development, Washington DC.

August 1996

“Looking Backward: How Writers Construct Their Childhood” American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

June 1996

“Storytelling in the First Four Years” Berkshire Center for Families and Children Pittsfield, MA

March 1996

“What Children do with Stories” Keynote Address, "Windows to the Child's World", Louise Child Care Services, Pittsburgh, PA

April 1996

“Making Sense with Stories” Invited Address, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

March 1993

“Collaborations in narrative constructions” Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA.

October 1992

“Are there reminiscers and practical rememberers in the classroom?” Boston Child Language Conference, Boston, MA.

August 1991

“The Echo of Other Voices: Literary influences on children's narratives” American Psychological Association Annual meetings, San Francisco, CA.

August 1990

“Moments of Insight: Children's Creative Processes in the Classroom” American Psychological Association Annual Meetings, Boston, MA.

May 1990

“How Children Tell Their Life Stories” New York Child Language Biannual Conference, Rutgers University, NJ.

August 1989

“How Adults and Children Evoke the Past in Autobiography American Psychological Association Annual Meetings, New Orleans, LA.

May 1989

“The Origins of Story Telling Skills in Young Children” New York State Council for Children, Rye, NY.

March 1989

“Old and New Ways of Evaluating Young Children PET, Holyoke, MA.

March 1989

“Language Development: Implications for the Classroom” PET, Holyoke, MA.

March 1989

“Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum” Williamstown-Adams Interdistrict Committee on Education, Adams, MA.

May 1988

“Language Development and Creative Uses of Language in Preschool Programs Massachusetts Department of Education, Williamsburg, MA.

October 1987

Workshop for Elementary School Teachers on Teaching Reading and Writing. Williamstown Elementary School, Williamstown, MA.

October 1987

“Tell me a story: The development of children's narratives.” Wainright House, White Plains, NY.

May 1986

“Remembering together: the development of mother-child conversations about the past.” New York Child Language Biannual Conference, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.

April 1986

“The role of mother child interaction in autobiographical recall.” Conference on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

October 1985

“Individual variation in how mothers and children talk about the past.” Tenth Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA.

April 1984

“Early past and future talk in an interactive context.” International Conference on Infant Studies, New York, NY.

October 1983

“Children's feelings about nuclear war” ATIS Conference, New York, NY.

May 1983

“How to help children deal with the threat of nuclear war: In/Security: Facts and Fears about the Nuclear Age” Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.

March 1983

“The relationship between being a teacher and being a researcher” CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY.

February 1983

“Teaching ethics to sixth graders” Annual Teachers Conference, Fieldston School, Riverdale, NY.

June 1982

"Helping children deal with the threat of nuclear war." Conference of Social Scientists Against Nuclear War. CUNY-Rutgers University, New York, NY.



Educational Advisor and Co-Founder of Hayground School, Bridgehampton, NY. Responsible for designing and implementing educational program, and teacher supervision


Member of the Board of Trustees, Pine Cobble School, Williamstown, MA Advisor, Center for Social and Emotional Learning, Columbia University, NY, NY.


Member of Southern Berkshire Regional School District School Committee, Sheffield, MA

1993 - 1994

Hampshire College/Hampton Day School Internship Program: Developed and supervised student teaching interns.

October 1991

Bard Conference: Teachers & Researchers Collaborate to Design the Ideal School. Conference Organizer.

June 1986

"Teenage residents of Spofford Detention Facility." Research report to New York City Department of Juvenile Justice, New York, NY.

Training Specialist, Resources for Child Care, Pittsfield, MA.

A Reader's Catalogue. Annotated bibliography on Psychology, New York, NY.

April 1986

Engel, S. Language development from birth to three years. Research and consulting to Child Growth and Development Corp, Infant/Toddler Book Club and Parent Guide, New York, NY.



Berkshire Country Day School
Lenox, MA
2nd Grade Teacher


Ethical Culture School
New York, NY
Ethics Teacher


Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center
New York, NY
Director of Theatre Workshop for High School and Elementary
School Students


Touchstone Center for Children
P.S. 84, New York, NY
Teacher and Research Assistant

Summers 1971-78

Small Potatoes
Bridgehampton, NY
Founder and Director of children's drama and art program