Barbara Tizard

( 1926 - 2015 )

Educationist and developmental psychologist

Barbara Tizard was an educationist and an eminent developmental psychologist who researched the impact of infant care on child development.

Barbara Tizard obituary in the Guardian

Barbara Tizard, by Jenny Tizard © all rights reserved

Barbara Tizard was born into a working-class household in East London, and studied first at the University of Oxford and then at University College London, where she undertook a part-time PhD while raising a family. 

From 1963 Tizard was a lecturer in the Department of Experimental Neurology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

In 1967 Tizard joined the Institute of Education where her husband - Jack Tizard, himself a noted child psychologist - established the Thomas Coram Research Unit in 1973. Following her husband's death in 1979, she became the unit’s director and was promoted to professor.

In works such as Adoption: A Second Chance (1977) she considered the impact of different forms of infant care on a child's development. In Young Children Learning (1984) she argued, controversially, that most children enjoyed a richer learning environment at home as compared to nursery school. Tizard was a lifelong socialist and pacificist, and was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1997.

Affiliated with

Institute of Education
King's College, London
University College London

Subjects studied

  • Psychology
  • Education