Dean's Welcome Letter
From the moment I began as Dean of Children’s Programs in July of 2016, I have been peppered with constant references to the “Bank Street Way.” Given my training as a qualitative researcher, I have employed the numerous methods in my arsenal to uncover the great truth of this elusive notion. I have conducted interviews, convened focus groups, analyzed survey data, engaged in participant observation, and most importantly, listened to the children. And from these experiences, I have come to understand that the Bank Street Way means many things.
The Bank Street Way is children at the center of the learning process. At Bank Street, the locus of the meaning making resides with the child. While teachers act as facilitators through careful and deliberate planning and provisioning, children are empowered with voice and choice to pursue their own passions and to discover their own truths.
The Bank Street Way is rich, social studies-themed, interdisciplinary curricula. At Bank Street, curriculum is connected and thematic, with meaningful integration of the arts as essential to all aspects of teaching and learning. At each age and stage, we value depth over breadth, and children develop their skills as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and perspective takers.
The Bank Street Way is a fierce commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice. At Bank Street, we educate children to understand and embrace their own and others’ identities and to live their lives in service of the greater good. Our students are taught to see and confront injustice, to be upstanders (individuals who recognize when something is wrong and act to make it right) rather than bystanders, and to engage difference through curiosity, decency, and respect.
The Bank Street Way is a multigenerational community of learners on a lifelong quest to reflect, grow, and develop. At Bank Street, learning never ends. Uniquely situated as an independent school within the larger Bank Street College of Education, the School for Children serves as a demonstration site for the progressive pedagogies developed and constantly refined in the Graduate School. More than two-thirds of our teachers have earned graduate degrees at Bank Street, and opportunities for intellectual engagement forever abound.
In sum, Bank Street is a special place. I have visited hundreds of schools in my more than two decades as a professional educator, and I can honestly say that the quality of teaching, the depth of reflection, the clarity of purpose, and the knowledge base about children at our school are unparalleled. Each day, I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by hordes of inspiring children, brilliant colleagues, and passionate parents, and I encourage you to look around or come for a visit so that you too can experience the transformative impact of the “Bank Street Way.”
Jed Lippard, Ed.D.
Dean of Children’s Programs
Head of the School for Children