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Bank Street Conference Examines the Importance of Kindergarten for Young Children

Posted by Bank Street on May 09, 2017

On April 21 and 22, over 200 kindergarten teachers, school leaders, policymakers, and other experts and practitioners flooded into Bank Street College for a conference titled, “Teaching Kindergarten: Where Did the Garden Go? Practice, Policy, and Advocacy.” The two-day sold-out conference was held to celebrate and reaffirm the unique and vital role of kindergarten in children’s lives.

In light of a recent push down of academic standards and prescribed curriculum, teachers are finding it more and more challenging to preserve the kindergarten classroom’s legacy as a place of play, exploration, and discovery for young children. The conference sought to refresh and reinvigorate the conversation around kindergarten while providing participants with tools to maintain rich, meaningful, and child-centered classrooms that adhere to the Common Core State Standards.

During the event, participants heard from a number of thought provoking guest speakers and participated in interactive workshop sessions on literacy, math, social studies, block building, family engagement, music, and science, among others. Participants left the conference reinvigorated and inspired to strive for what is right for all kindergarten children. 

Click here to read a blog post by Susan Ochshorn, GSE ’99, titled “Revitalizing the Children’s Garden,” in which she comments on the “crisis” in American kindergarten and recaps powerful remarks from the conference at Bank Street.

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