Bank Street College of Education is one of the premiere Progressive schools in the country with a School for Children and a Graduate School for educators and leaders in education. The educational philosophy of Bank Street is based on the most current and ongoing research. The Bank Street constructivist approach emphasizes hands-on, inquiry based learning where children are actively engaged in cooperative, communicative and creative learning experiences.
The goal is to nurture the whole child-intellectually, socially, and emotionally, while building a lifelong love of learning. Age-appropriate and dynamic learning opportunities help children construct knowledge and then explore their new understandings through art, drama, language experiences, writing, music, and creative movement.
Lucy Sprague Mitchell, founder of Bank Street College of Education, asserted that the best way for children to learn about the world was to explore the familiar deeply. The credo she wrote nearly a century ago continues to guide the work of Bank Street College today. It communicates her desire to foster children’s flexibility, courage, gentleness, and sensitivity as well as to instill in them a “zest for living,” “lively intellectual curiosities,” and a “striving to live democratically.” (Bank Street College of Education, 2014a) The fundamental principles of working with children have not changed: regardless of the generation, children learn best when they are interested in a topic, remain engaged, and are appropriately challenged.
Our director, Bonnie Brief Pauska, serves as a consultant/professional development facilitator for Bank Street College and New York City’s Department of Education. As part of her work, she is continually learning the newest research from Bank Street College and implementing best practices at creative learning center.