Archive for February, 2020

Black History Month Betsey Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project image

At GSI, we are always working to provide the very best in early childhood education. For Black History Month, we are highlighting Betsey Stockton, a pioneer of adaptive teaching, and the Perry Preschool Project, a groundbreaking education research study. Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project had the same goal: finding a way to provide children with the best learning experiences.

Betsey Stockton: Pioneer of Early Childhood Education

Betsey Stockton’s work as a missionary kickstarted her involvement in early childhood education. Born into slavery in New Jersey in 1798, she was taught to read and expressed her desire to become a missionary when she was about 20 years old. When Betsey was freed in the 1820s, she went to Hawaii to fulfill this dream and launch her teaching career.

In Hawaii, Betsey taught at the mission school, educating both local and missionary children using the monitorial method, according to a National Association for the Education of Young Children article. This teaching method grouped children by ability, and more experienced students, known as monitors, led the groups.

Betsey returned to the East Coast, and in 1828 she was recruited by the Infant School Society of Philadelphia to teach at a new infant school, where teachers would educate young children using a combination of play and learning activities based on observing objects or studying picture cards. To prepare for the position, Betsey trained in New York. When she returned to Philadelphia, she started what would become a successful infant school for African American students. Due to her expertise, Betsey was soon asked to train teachers to educate Ojibwa students at a mission site on Grape Island in Canada. Betsey’s work here would serve as a blueprint for other mission schools in the area.

Betsey then taught at the Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children in Princeton for nearly 30 years. To honor her inspiring work, Princeton University named a garden after Betsey in 2018, saying, “Given the many lives she nurtured over the course of her courageous life, we believe it is fitting that she be commemorated in a garden that we hope will be a place of beauty and reflection for both town and gown.”

The Perry Preschool Project

This 1960s research study only lasted a few years, but the results showed that the right kind of education can benefit children for the rest of their lives. From 1962 to 1967, David Weikart, a psychologist, and Charles Eugene Beatty, the principal of Perry Elementary School in Ypsilanti, MI, worked together to create a program that would bolster the cognitive skills of disadvantaged African American children.

The program selected African American children from three to four years old and randomly assigned them either to a control group that received no pre-k education or an intervention group. Teachers worked with the students in the intervention group every day on planning and executing tasks and then reviewing the results. The intentional teaching strategy they used ultimately showed long-term positive results. The researchers followed the children into adulthood, and they found that the intervention students were more likely to have attained higher levels of education with fewer suspensions, were more likely to be employed and were less likely to commit crimes than the members of the control group.

A summary of the findings by the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, the organization behind the project, concluded that “all young children living in low-income families should have access to preschool programs that have features that are reasonably similar to those of the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program.”

James Heckman, a Nobel laureate, an economist and the current head of Perry Preschool research, said the program saw success because it could “activate the spark” of learning in the students while also engaging their parents, according to The Hechinger Report.

A Lasting Legacy

Betsey Stockton and the Perry Preschool Project have been instrumental in shaping early childcare education. At GSI, we are inspired by education leaders, and we are grateful to the educators who help children create brighter futures.

The Goddard School

After each spending about 28 years in the software consulting industry, Swati and Sunil Kapdi decided to open a nationally acclaimed private early childhood education center known for its play-based curriculum and individualized learning experience. 

Teaching has been my passion since high school,” Swati said. I used to do tutoring for elementary, middle and high school children during the initial years of my career.” 

This is the second The Goddard School to open in Georgetown proper this year, reflecting the community’s rapid growth. Swati and Sunil fulfilled their dream of opening their own preschool to meet the demand for early childhood education options in the area. 

We love to be around children, and we are committed to providing them the best education and support in their early years of development,” Swati said. We feel fortunate to be able to influence them during their developmental stages and make an impact in their life. 

The newly constructed preschool, located at 3740 Williams Drive, officially opened on Jan. 2. More than 180 children ages six weeks to six years old will attend the preschool and experience its unique play-based learning curriculum. They will also provide before/after school programs and summer camp programs for elementary children.  

The preschool is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

For more information about the newest The Goddard School in Georgetown (Williams Drive), TX, visit