Join us in celebrating 100 years of research, practice, and impact!

The Eliot-Pearson Children’s School and the Tufts University Department of Child Study & Human Development have begun a new and exciting academic year with added zeal and pride! In January of 2022, we celebrated 100 years of serving children, families, and teachers—a vision brought to reality in 1922 by Abigail Adams Eliot and Elizabeth Ware Pearson. 

Spotlight Interview: David Robinson, Former EPCS Teacher

To kick off our Spotlight Interview series, we are proud to welcome former EPCS teacher David Robinson! Now teaching pre-kindergarten in California, David took the time to share about his experience at Eliot-Pearson Children’s School. 

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your connection to Eliot-Pearson Children’s School?  

I was a Head teacher at Eliot-Pearson Children’s School from 2001 – 2014.  During this time, I taught in all the preschool classrooms (at different times).  I also directed the summer program for many years and  led a summer program for new mothers and their babies.  During my time at EPCS, I also presented at national and local conferences.

How have you been impacted by your time at EPCS? 

The Special Rights program helped define who I am as a teacher.  Learning how to teach children who had a range of needs such as visual impairments, hearing loss, autism and physical and emotional needs helped me think deeply about differentiating the curriculum.  Being in this environment also helped me think about how to teach young children about the needs of their community.

What is something you value about your experience with EPCS that you still carry with you today?

During my time at EPCS partnerships were fostered and encouraged.  There were dynamic and collaborative relationships between classroom teachers, students, families, professors, therapists, administrators, student organizations and the local community.  I have fond memories of my preschool students working with the Tufts LBGT center, professors visiting the classroom, and PhD students conducting research in the classroom who valued my expertise.  The Physical, Occupational, Speech and therapists who were in the classroom on a weekly basis helped support the strong inclusion setting.  Often parents took leading roles in discussion groups about diversity and anti-bias education.  I loved helping design the new playground and insisting there would be many puddles for the children to play in!    Being part of these strong partnerships helped inform the way I continue to teach and work within my community.

History That Deserves Recognition

The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development and the Children’s School began in 1922 as the Ruggles Street School and Training Center established by Abigail Adams Eliot with assistance from Elizabeth Ware Winsor Pearson.

As one of the first nursery schools in this country, the Ruggles Street School became a natural training ground for preschool teachers. It also served as a research site for those interested in learning about normal, healthy, active young children – an interest that had emerged with the establishment of child development as a field of study. In 1926 the Ruggles Street School became the Nursery Training School of Boston, reflecting its primary focus on teacher training.

In 1951, it began its affiliation with Tufts University, where teachers were able to pursue their college education in conjunction with training in a preschool setting. In 1964, the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study was formally established, with the Children’s School as its laboratory – demonstration facility.

Our Mission Today

The mission of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School is to provide a high quality, nurturing experience for all children and their families. We develop and disseminate new ideas in teaching and learning. EPCS serves as a site for research and children-focused collaborative projects with departments at Tufts University, local and international learning and research institutions, and with community schools and programs. 

We conduct local and global teacher training and professional development, and both in-service and pre-service teacher education. The Eliot-Pearson Children’s School actively seeks communities of learners reflecting diverse abilities, racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, family, and socio-economic backgrounds.