Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development, 1964


The Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development was founded in 1964 as a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Jackson College, but its history extends much further back. The department's origins lie in the dedicated work of Abigail A. Eliot and Mrs. Henry Greenleaf Pearson, who together as part of the Women's Education Association, founded a number of nursery schools in the area in the 1920s and 1930s including the Ruggles Street School in 1922.Under the leadership of Eliot and Pearson, the Nursery Training School was established in 1926 in Boston to train nursery school teachers. Eliot's firm belief that a college education was essential in this work led her to seek out a cooperative relationship with Tufts to provide for post-secondary education opportunities for teachers of young children. Her early contacts with Tufts led to the establishment in 1951 of a cooperative relationship between Tufts and the Nursery Training School which was administered as an independent school under the College of Special Studies. In 1955, the name was changed to Eliot-Pearson Children's School and, in 1964, it became a major department of Tufts University, renamed the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study. In 1996, the department changed its name from Child Study to Child Development.

As of 1999, the department offers courses of study for both undergraduate and graduate students. Affiliated programs include the Tufts Educational Daycare Center (nursery and kindergarten) and the Eliot-Pearson Children's School (pre-kindergarten through second grade), the direct descendant of the Ruggles Street School founded in 1922 by Eliot and Pearson.

Source: History from the finding aid for the Eliot Pearson collection UA009 and Chandler, Martha H., "1922-1972: A study of grown and development of The Ruggles Street Nursery School and Training Center to the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study, Tufts University," unpublished manuscript held in the University Archives.

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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