Yasmin Kafai

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Yasmin B. Kafai, Ph.D., is a Professor of Learning Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, past president of the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS), and an executive editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences.[1]


Kafai was born in Germany and has worked and studied in Germany, France, and the United States. In the U.S., Kafai worked with Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Laboratory and was a faculty member of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.[1]

Kafai is a pioneer in research on electronic gaming, learning, and gender.[2][3] Utilizing constructionist theory, Kafai examines technology designs and culture, and helped to set the foundation for programmatic initiatives on games and learning.[1] Kafai was an early developer and researcher of Scratch, an educational programming language that allows students to creatively participate as programmers in the development of virtual projects.[4] She is also an active voice on the involvement of girls in gaming and programming[5] and on the impact of virtual gaming on real-life social behavior in youth.[6][7]

Kafai is an editor of Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming (2008), a collection of essays that builds on the groundbreaking book From Barbie to Mortal Kombat (Cassell and Jenkins, 2000).[8] Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat presents new developments in gaming, gender, and learning, and why gender-based stereotypes persist in gaming.[1][8][9] Kafai's 1995 book Minds in Play: Computer Design as a Context for Children's Learning helped to establish the field of gaming and learning.[1] Kafai has also written Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Interventions in the Sciences (2004), contributed to Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age, and written several journal and book articles.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Yasmin B. Kafai". Penn GSE. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  2. ^ James Ryan (1998-07-02). "On the Job With Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish and Pajama Sam". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  3. ^ Pamela Mendels (2000-04-12). "Changing Girls' Attitudes About Computer". The New York Times On The Web. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Scratch: Programming for All". Communications of the ACM. 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  5. ^ Katie Ash (2009-10-14). "Getting Girls Engaged in Digital-Game Design". Education Week: Digital Directions. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  6. ^ Sharon Duke Estroff (2009-01-09). "Undercover in a Kid's Online World". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  7. ^ Sandy Hingston (2010-11-26). "Is It Just Us, Or Are Kids Getting Really Stupid?". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  8. ^ a b "Book review of Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming". 16. The University of Chicago Press. 2010: 670–675. JSTOR 10. 
  9. ^ "Review of Beyond Barbie and Mortal Combat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming". MC Reviews. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2011-01-27. 

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