Beth Ferholt's areas of research broadly stated are development, learning and imagination. Her work builds upon the tradition of cultural-historical activity theories. Consistent foci of her publications include playworlds, a relatively new form of adult-child joint play in which adults actively enter into the fantasy play of young children as a means of promoting the development and quality of life of both adults and children; perezhivanie, an important psychological concept in efforts to overcome the separation of cognition and emotion in the social scientific study of learning and development; early childhood education in which children are understood as culture and knowledge creators; and methods for the study of play, perezhivanie and early childhood education. She leads the Brooklyn College-Jönköping University Student Exchange, mentoring Brooklyn College and Swedish teachers in training as they study abroad. She teaches the Early Childhood Play and Foundations courses.