On the cutting edge
The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development is committed to making an impact on the lives of children, youth, and families in the 21st century. Eliot-Pearson is dedicated to understanding the changing child/adolescent by attending to family structure and dynamics, neighborhoods, and institutions focused on education, health, and well-being. Our work is grounded in the context of our rapidly changing social and cultural environments, driven by new technologies, and complex societies.
The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development (CSHD) serves as a "childhood hub" at Tufts University for addressing the dramatic changes in all of these areas. We provide an applied research environment that leverages the historic opportunity for change brought about by new technologies to improve the lives of all children, youth, and families around the world.
Continuing a legacy
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.
From the beginning, the department focused on the integration of research and practice and built a national and international reputation around its lab school, the Eliot-Pearson Children's School, which served both as a place to experiment, train, and demo best practices associated with the education of young children, as well as a laboratory for human development. The department is now focusing on understanding the changing children and youth, given the changing families and institutions as well as the rapidly changing social and cultural contexts, driven by new technologies and complex societies. While early childhood remains a focus, the department's research and teaching now include every major influence on children's and adolescents' lives- including parenting, media, technology, education, clinical-medical care, and public policy. Our teaching and research addresses issues of inequity so as to create more just and caring communities for diverse groups of children and youth.
Individualized path of study
Eliot-Pearson features individually designed programs of study within the context of common milestones and shared training objectives. Though all of our work emphasizes application in the field, students in our department choose whether they wish to pursue a research-based track or one that focuses on in-field work and training. Eliot-Pearson also offers but does not require students to concentrate their work in a particular area of child study and human development. The department features concentrations of study in, Clinical-Developmental Health and Psychology and 21st Century Literacies: Media and Technology.
Grounded in interdisciplinary education and research
The field of child study and human development is rich and versatile. Encompassing interdisciplinary learning is vital to understanding developmental issues in the context of the larger world. Programs at Eliot-Pearson challenge traditional curricula by providing students with a vibrant, interdisciplinary community dedicated to applied research and preparing students for a variety of careers, including careers in medicine and health, education, public policy, law, and academia.
Tufts sets students up for success
Working closely with both faculty members and the Career Center, Tufts students acquire internships and career opportunities in various sectors and locations. The program offers opportunities for students to gain valuable applied experience in a variety of courses and settings, including hospitals, schools, clinics, educational television studios, educational technologies companies, toy industry, museums, and juvenile courts. In addition, there are opportunities to do applied research projects and participate in ongoing research in one of the department's labs.
The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development is constantly working to ensure that our students have access to the best services and facilities available. The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development building boasts a collaborative learning environment designed for interdisciplinary research and innovation. As a hub for interdisciplinary technological innovation around early learning and development, the department also works closely with its own lab school, The Eliot-Pearson Children's School. Within the lab school are opportunities for professional development, direct observation of children, and applied research experience.