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Nancy Nager

Supervised Fieldwork Advisor; Course Instructor

Academic Interests

Cognitive complexity in student and teacher work, Teachers’ professional development, Translating developmental theory into educational practice (“thinking developmentally”)

Some of the Values that Shape My Work

As a developmental psychologist, I start from the child’s perspective, helping teachers (in the graduate or childhood classroom) understand that children’s behavior is meaningful.  I am informed by a commitment to the whole child -- the child who simultaneously thinks, feels, relates and physically experiences him or herself and the surrounding  world.  Children exist, make sense of and grow in a cultural context, actively seeking meaning as they strive to achieve competence. I believe that teachers, like the children they teach, thrive in an environment which supports, engages and challenges them.  I also believe that an approach to education must be grounded in evidence,  ideas, values and principles from which practices arise and are continuously examined.  In teaching child development and in advising students in field work I emphasize translational understandings -- applying theoretical knowledge about child development to make sense of and support the learning and growth of children.  

Work with Families, Children, Schools, and Communities

I have worked with toddlers in a family cooperative early childhood program; children in kindergarten; and families with developmentally challenged children and youth.  I have also served as a Trustee of the Hastings-on-Hudson Union-Free School District and as President of their Board of Education.  

Recent Professional Contributions

My professional development work has focused on evaluation research, including:
  • IBM’s Kidsmart Program, specially designed early childhood computer stations were donated to Head Start centers
  • Bank Street’s teacher preparation
  • C3, a science summer camp collaboration between Bank Street and the New York Hall of Science.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Yeshiva University
  • M.S., Counseling, Bank Street College of Education
  • B.A., Psychology, Brandeis University

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Cuffaro, H. K., & Nager, N. (2012). The developmental-interaction approach at Bank Street College of Education. In J. Roopnarine & J. Johnson (Eds.), Approaches to early childhood education (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.

  • Nager, N. (2011). Teaching self regulation: Can games help? Conference presentation, Making Games that Teach Difficult Concepts. Center for Children and Technology, Bainbridge Island, WA.

  • Cuffaro, H. K. & Nager, N. (2011). The developmental-interaction approach at Bank Street College of Education. In J. Roopnarine & J. Johnson (Eds.), Approaches to early childhood education (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  • Lit, I., Nager, N., & Snyder, J. (2010). If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Framework and processes for engaging in constructive institutional development and renewal in the context of increasing standards, assessments and accountability for university-based teacher preparation. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37, 15-34.

  • Nager, N., & Shapiro, E. K. (2002). Some principles for the education of teachers. Bank Street College Occasional Papers, 18, 3-33.

  • Nager, N., & Shapiro, E. K. (Eds.). (2000). Revisiting a progressive pedagogy: The developmental interaction approach. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Contact me:

(212) 875-4470
610 West 112Th Street,
New York, NY 10025