Children at the Center (Paperback)

Transforming Early Childhood Education in the Boston Public Schools

By Betty Bardige, Megina Baker, Ben Mardell

Harvard Education PR, 9781682532027, 248pp.

Publication Date: July 17, 2018

List Price: 32.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Children at the Center provides a closely observed account of a decade-long effort to reshape the scope, direction, and quality of the Boston Public Schools' early childhood programs. Drawing on multiple perspectives and voices from the field, the authors highlight the reflective, collaborative, inquiry-driven approach undertaken by the program and share lessons learned.

Boston Public Schools are recognized for embedding high-quality, public preK programs in their system and achieving exceptional results. In this book, the authors outline the core principles that underlie the district's early childhood programs and explore the role of curriculum, professional development, coaching, and data use in supporting these new initiatives. They show how the Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood was able to work with and against the constraints of the current accountability system to create a holistic, child-centered, play-based program that has had a significant impact in narrowing income-based learning gaps.

Written in collaboration with the Department of Early Childhood Education, this account of creating successful preK programs in a diverse urban district will provide a valuable resource for practitioners engaged in similar work across the country.

About the Author

Betty Bardige is a developmental psychologist and an early childhood author, advocate, foundation leader, and consultant. Megina Baker is a researcher at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and part of the early childhood education faculty at Boston University. Ben Mardell is a principal investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.