Lessons in Being

“…faced with new mysteries, I suspect I tried to use whatever tools had worked for me in the past.” Carol O. Eckerman


Developmental Research


Career Overview
1963 BA, Psychology,
The College of Wooster

1968 PhD, Experimental Psychology,
Columbia University

1967 Research Associate with Harriet Rheingold,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(five years during which I became known as a developmental scientist)

1972 Faculty member at Duke University

2006 Professor Emerita, Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University

More Career History
Publications

  • When do newly-crawling infants choose to leave their mothers’ side and where do they go? How do these actions shape their learning and development?
  • Why and when do toddlers imitate one another? How do their nonverbal imitative acts aid verbal communication?
  • What developmental pathways are found among infants born ten or more weeks early? How do their early behavioral characteristics affect parent-infant interactions in ways that help shape subsequent development?
  • What commonalities exist, despite major cultural differences, in how toddlers achieve cooperative action with others?

These are among the questions I’ve pursued through collaborative research with other psychologists, neonatologists, neuroscientists, and anthropologists. No matter how many answers we and others amass, the questions only grow. I remain in awe before the wonder of human development.

In Lessons in Simply Being I look back and recount parallels between my experiential approach to developmental research and my journey as a spiritual pilgrim.