The Cooperative School for Student Teachers (later the Cooperative School for Teachers) was started in 1930. The Bureau of Educational Experiments began the teacher-training program as a joint venture with eight other experimental schools. Student teachers worked at one of these schools Monday through Thursday and came to Bank Street for classes, seminars and conferences from Thursday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
One of the most important experiences for student teachers was something called the “long trip” — a field visit to some distant site designed to expose teachers to new experiences. From these field trips and from other sources grew the advisement process. Unique to Bank Street, the process features a senior member of the Bank Street faculty and several student teachers in an intense personal and professional examination of what it takes to be a good teacher. Advisement remains at the core of graduate programs to this day.
In the late 1930s, the Writers Laboratory grew out of Lucy Sprague Mitchell’s Cooperative School language classes. The Writers Laboratory brought together writers and educators to produce children’s literature informed by the new educational philosophy developed at Bank Street. Writers affiliated with the Lab include Margaret Wise Brown and Maurice Sendak.
Bank Street began to offer night and weekend courses for non-matriculated students in 1946. In 1950, the Cooperative School for Teachers was certified by the Board of Regents of New York State to offer the master of science degree in education and the Bureau was renamed Bank Street College of Education to reflect this change. The core curriculum remains the training of college graduates in the teaching of nursery and elementary school children. Over the years, the graduate programs have expanded to include offerings such as Museum Education, Administration and Supervision, Guidance, and Bilingual Education.
Scope and Content Note
The Graduate Programs records (26.4 cubic feet) are comprised of eight subgroups: Office of Admissions, Office of the Registrar, Office of Financial Aid, Academic Programs, Services for Students, Faculty and Staff, Office of the Dean, and Cooperative School for Student Teachers. Included in this record group are correspondence, proposals, program planning materials, course schedules and catalogs, Cooperative School for Student Teacher student files, and photo albums and scrapbooks of early Long Trips. Access to certain records may be restricted.