A highly recognized program locally, nationally and internationally, EPCS provides an exemplary early education and care to local neighborhoods and the Tufts community. EPCS is a leader and a wealth of resources to the community of educators and schools. At Eliot-Pearson, we strive to be diverse and inclusive in all forms (culture, race, language, physical, mental, and social-emotional abilities, learning styles, ethnicity, family structure, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age and socio-economic difference) and provide an ideal early education setting as a model lab school for children, families, educators and researchers.

The following are the key features that make the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School unique:

A site for teacher education and applied programs: EPCS is a teacher preparation site that offers a holistic, practical experience, internship, mentoring and coaching to young and/or novice teachers. The master teachers at the school are seasoned educators with extensive knowledge and experience in the field and provide them with various opportunities to transfer theories, new ideas and cutting age research to practice.

A site for experimentation, research and curriculum development: EPCS is an innovation hub where children, educators, interns, researchers and administrators dare to explore, experiment and take risks.

Professional development for teachers: As a professional development (PD) school for teachers, EPCS is an institution that brings together collaborative efforts of the school, a college/university, and other institutions in the community to stimulate and promote curiosity, observation and reflection in teachers. The school embodies and nurtures a culture of engaged scholarship and teacher research to guide our teaching practices and is grounded in differentiated and collaborative learning. Our teaching and learning processes are open, responsive and transformational where every member’s (child and adult) voice is heard and respected.

Documentation: Documentation (a method of qualitative research through observation, recording notes, use of a variety of media to understand children’s and teachers’ learning processes) as a part of our daily practice ensures authentic assessment, effective and developmentally appropriate teaching practice, and ongoing family and community engagement.

Collaboration with Tufts University Departments beyond the department of Child Study and Human Development: As a lab school, we seek to develop collaborations with academic programs on campus to maximize our students as well as Tufts students’ learning experiences. Over the years, we have collaborated with various departments, schools and lab projects including occupational therapy, child study and human development, education, engineering, dance and theater, pediatrics and the art museum/gallery.

Student Observation, Learning & Internship Site: EPCS serves as a site for student observations to complete course assignments and final projects across the university. The school provides the platform for student research and final projects through classroom and child observations and field experiences. Students enrolled in Tufts University courses are able to observe children first hand in our lab setting behind observation booths.

Guided observation and learning site: EPCS is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as an exemplary lab school, early childhood teacher preparation, and a research site. The school offers guided observation and serves as a learning site for local and international educators and administrators throughout the year. Below are some examples of international visitors in recent years.

Collaboration and outreach to the larger community: As a laboratory school part of our goal is to positively impact the quality of children’s education and care in the community. Through participation in local ECE professional groups as well as opportunities for dissemination of best practices and professional development we make sure we are connected to the local community

Special Education Services: We are a high quality and inclusive environment with an exceptional student teacher ration, allowing us to serve an average of 20% of students who present with mild to moderate special needs. The school provides opportunities for students in the public school system may who may not be mainstreamed due to lack of resources or expertise.

Dissemination of ideas through presentations and publications: EPCS administration and teaching staff actively participate in presentations and publications at Tufts, locally and nationally at various levels.