Remembering Betty Hart--She Made a Meaningful Difference
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Dr. Betty Hart, Emeritus Associate Research Professor and Scientist from the University of Kansas, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies died September 28th 2012 at the age of 85.
Dr. Hart is remembered for her groundbreaking work in early language intervention practice and for her seminal study conducted with Dr. Todd Risley and chronicled in Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Lives of American Children (1995) and The Social World of Children Learning to Talk (1999) Brookes. In their longitudinal study of the language learning experiences of 42 children from infancy to 3 years, Hart and Risley documented the vast differences in the early language learning experience of children across socioeconomic groups and the associations between those earliest experiences and later vocabulary development, early literacy and school success. Widely cited and often quoted, the findings from her work have informed how researchers, teachers, parents and policymakers think about the impact of children’s earliest experiences and the importance of providing early intervention.