The Risley/Hart Legacy





During the 1980’s Todd Risley and Betty Hart conducted breakthrough research on how the number and type of words a child hears from birth to age three effects IQ and determines the child's vocabulary potential for life.  I interviewed Todd in December 2006, he passed away in December 2008, and was impressed with the amount of time that was needed to tabulate the results. Now that we are in the computer age techniques are being developed to automate the process and use the results for autism detection as well as vocabulary development. The Lena Research Foundation has invested over $50 million dollars to date for this research. Last year I interviewed one of the team Steven Warren from the University of Kansas, who shared some of the implications of the research. Later in the year I spoke with Kim Ollier from the University of Memphis another key advisor to the Lena team about the results of this new research based the original Risley/Hart research. In this show we hear all three interviews that can form the basis of our understanding of the education gap and the language and IQ we carry through life.