For nearly a century, Bank Street has filled an essential niche in the world of education by fulfilling four distinctive yet mutually interdependent functions. These are:
- Creating constructive environments for children. Look no further than to the ongoing excellence of our Children’s Programs, our Liberty Leads Program, our Head Start Centers, and to our degree programs and professional development activities in the Graduate School to see us in action. We create constructive environments for children, and provide the resources to both teachers and leaders to recreate such environments.
- Influencing policy that supports the growth and development of children. Bank Street’s leadership role in the establishment of Head Start and Project Follow-Through changed the entire landscape of early childhood education in this country. Bank Street was instrumental both in creating a national model of high-quality early childhood programs and in growing and supporting those programs through out the country.
- Developing educative materials for children and adults. In the course of its history, Bank Street has developed the “Here and Now” book series, the “Little Golden Books” series, The Bank Street Reader, The Bank Street Writer, and The Voyage of the Mimi. Such high quality materials brought progressive pedagogy to the entire country.
- Merging theory and practice. Our scholarship is unique in that it melds the clinically grounded knowledge of professionals with the theoretical abstract world of the researcher, and then tests that theory in practice and that practice in theory.
Bank Street College is unique among its peers as the only stand-alone professional school of education that simultaneously and interactively meets the needs of a multifaceted educational community. It has lived up to its initial name as the Bureau of Educational Experiments through the scholarship and research of such luminaries as Lucy Sprague Mitchell, Claudia Lewis, Barbara Biber, and Edna Shapiro. These seminal scholars created a tradition of research that grounded the study of education in the lives of real children and real classrooms, schools, and communities. The results? Learning opportunities that all our children deserve and a well-being that our families and communities require, upon which our national experiment in democracy depends.
As the college prepares to enter its second century, we recommit ourselves to fulfilling this role through the expansion of our leadership team. Responsible for maintaining and enriching the academic quality of the college’s programs, the Dean of Innovation, Policy & Research will also work to enhance Bank Street’s influence outside our walls and incubate the programs, products, policies and research within.