She and Todd R. Risley were the researchers who discovered the fact that many middle and upper class parents talk to their babies far more–and in more positive and encouraging terms–than do many parents in poverty. And, that the lingering effect of this uneven early language development stays with children for many years and is very difficult to overcome.
The fact that early childhood education focuses on helping parents speak to their children more and more and use more words, is Betty Hart’s legacy. Her legacy is rich and lives on.
I didn’t know her name either and skipped over her obituary the first time–but I knew of her influential work. RIP, Betty Hart.