Progressive Education

Progressive Education in Context: Volume IV

Introduction

Welcome to the fourth edition of Progressive Education in Context. Over the years, this publication has afforded us the opportunity to share the deep thinking and ongoing reflection that goes into providing a rich and thorough program of quality education. The first four articles in this volume represent the experience and thought that  goes  into  the  work  of  the  teachers  and  administrators  at  the  Bank  Street School for Children. And, as part of tradition, the final article, “The Last Word”, is a graduation speech given by a 2012 student of the SFC.

The first article, “Test-Taking or Not in the Early Years”, illuminates Bank Street’s historic  approach  to  assessing  children  in  the  admissions  process.  Anne  Santa, the School Psychologist, in collaboration with the two Learning Specialists, Beth Handler and Beth O’Mara, explore the tradition at Bank Street of using methods other than an ERB test to understand children in the admissions process. Although many independent schools will no longer use that test as a tool for admissions for Kindergarten, the School for Children has always believed in and implemented “observation and recording” within a developmentally appropriate framework to best understand who the child is and how the child learns.

The second article, “Tools for Life – A Presentation by the Division Coordinator of the Lower School”, was given by Lower School Coordinator Laura Guarino at Curriculum Night in October, 2012. This speech details the larger view of learning in today’s world and its relevance in progressive education. Laura reminds parents that their children are embarking on an educational journey, ignited by curiosity, fueled by the joy of discovery, and sustained by an environment safe enough for taking risks. Through a trusting partnership between parents and school wherein children are allowed to meet the challenges of living and learning in a very complicated world, it is our goal to initiate the journey toward becoming productive, capable, and good human beings.

The third article, “When Good Ideas Flow Two Ways”, discusses two collaborations between the School for Children and the College’s Graduate School.

 

Families often wonder about the value-added of sending their children to Bank Street, and this article addresses how we utilize the resources of the different divisions of Bank Street College in order to make each other stronger.

The fourth article, “Loudness in the Library: Empowering Students to Think Critically about Identity and Bias” is one example of how thinking about community and diversity is embedded in curriculum and experience. Anshu Wahi, Director of Diversity and Community, worked with Jamie Steinfeld, an 11 /12s teacher, and Allison Bruce, the Interim Children’s Librarian, to explore a book cover project with students in the 6 Grade.

And finally, “The Last Word” is the graduation speech from June 2012 of Shana Fletcher, who has just completed her first year at LREI (Little Red Elisabeth Irwin High School). Shana shares her experience and perspective of entering the School for Children in the 2nd Grade as a girl of color from Brooklyn.

We hope that you not only enjoy reading these articles along with those in the other volumes, but also that you gain an even better understanding of our program

—what we do and how we do it—all within the framework of progressive education.