What We Believe

Bank Street’s enduing values are rooted in a statement by our first president, Lucy Sprague Mitchell.  She called it her Credo and asked, “What potentialities in human beings—children, teachers, and ourselves—do we want to see develop?

  • A zest for living that comes from taking in the world with all five senses alert
  • Lively intellectual curiosities that turn the world into an exciting laboratory and keep one ever a learner
  • Flexibility when confronted with change and ability to relinquish patterns that no longer fit the present
  • The courage to work, unafraid and efficiently, in a world of new needs, new problems, and new ideas
  • Gentleness combined with justice in passing judgments on other human beings
  • Sensitivity, not only to the external formal rights of the "other fellow," but to him as another human being seeking a good life through his own standards
  • A striving to live democratically, in and out of schools, as the best way to advance our concept of democracy

Our credo demands ethical standards as well as scientific attitudes. Our work is based on the enduring faith that human beings can improve the society we have created.” 

Were Lucy Sprague Mitchell to return, she would recognize her legacy in the daily actions of faculty and staff, students and trustees.


Bank Street College in the City of New York is a small, vibrant institution passionately devoted to the education of children. We educate children, the educators who teach them in all settings, parents, school leaders, and those who make policy. The College is a rich source of innovative ideas and practices for all who care about children and their education.