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About the Department

Our History

The department's history is rooted in Abigail Eliot's pioneering work establishing one of the nation's first early childhood teacher preparation programs. In 1964, Eliot-Pearson became the Department of Child Study and grew into a major interdisciplinary community focused on the study of children and the education of undergraduates and master's students.

In 1981, the department added one of the nation's first doctoral programs in Applied Child Development, and later changed its name to the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development. While early childhood remains a focus, the department's research and teaching now include virtually every major influence on children's and adolescents' lives - including parenting, education, clinical-medical care, and public policy. Our teaching and research focus on issues of inequity so as to create more just and caring communities for diverse groups of children and youth.