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Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development

W. George Scarlett

Senior Lecturer
Student Affairs Coordinator
Tisch Faculty Fellow

W. George Scarlett

Senior Lecturer
Student Affairs Coordinator
Tisch Faculty Fellow

Phone 617-627-2248
105 College Avenue, Medford, MA
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Clark University
M.Div., Episcopal Theological School
B.A., Yale University

Children's and Youth's Development as Earth Stewards; Approaches to Children's and Youth's Challenging Behaviors; Children's Play; Spiritual/Religious Development

Research Interests: 

My research and writing interests focus on four different areas:
1) Children's and youth's connections to the natural world and supports for their development as earth stewards, 2) parents' and teachers' management of children's "problem" behaviors, 3) children's play, and 4) spiritual development throughout the life-span.

With regard to children and the natural world, today's ecological crises caused by climate change and the fact that more and more children and youth are cut-off from experiencing nature directly makes it imperative that we better understand how best to support caring connections between children and the natural world as well as support children's and youth's development as earth stewards.

With regard to the other research and writing interests, how we approach what we take to be children's problem behavior can spell the difference between raising and teaching poorly vs. raising and teaching well. Similarly, children's play is central to providing us with windows on the diverse ways that children show how they are both complex and fascinating as well as strong messages about what supports are needed to help children thrive. As for spiritual development, we humans develop not only through becoming more scientific in our thinking but also through our responding to what mystifies and inspires – out of which can come powerful patterns of faith that fuel development and sustain us.

Current Projects:

  • Editor of online magazine "Tomorrow's Earth Stewards"
  • New England Aquarium's Youth Programs: Research on the Development of Ocean Stewards
Selected Professional Activities: 
  • Tisch Fellow, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life Tufts University, 2018-2020
  • Student Affairs Coordinator, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, 2018-present
  • Deputy Chair, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, 2000-2018
  • Assistant Director, Child and Family WebGuide, Tufts University, 2012-2019
Selected Publications and Presentations: 

Scarlett, W.G. (2019) Rachel Carson and the Development of Earth Stewards. In Journal of Character Education (in press).

Scarlett, W. G. (2018) Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence." In Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. H. Montgomery (Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Scarlett, W.G. (Ed.) (2015). The Sage encyclopedia of classroom management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scarlett, W. G., & Alberts, A. (2010). Religious and spiritual development across the lifespan. In M. Lamb & A. Freund (Eds.), Volume 1 of Handbook of life-span development (pp. 631-682). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Scarlett, W.G., Chertok, G., Lipton, J., & Johanson, E. (2010). The baseball starter: A handbook for coaching children and teens. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.

Scarlett, W.G., Ponte, I. & Singh, J. (2009). Approaches to behavior and classroom management: Integrating discipline and care. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scarlett, W. G., Naudeau, S., Ponte, I., & Salonius-Pasternak, D. (2005). Children's play. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Scarlett, W.G. (1998). Trouble in the classroom: Managing the behavior problems of young children, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Teaching/Courses Taught: 
CSHD 34 (234): Children, Nature, and the Development of Earth Stewards
CSHD 157: Spiritual Development Across the Life-Span
CSHD 166: Children's Play and the Developing Imagination
CSHD 192: Approaches to ‘Problem Behavior’