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Introduction

It is with great pride that we offer you Volume VI of Progressive Education in Context. Who knew that when we first published this booklet six years ago that we were creating a tradition—to share in writing the deep thinking and reflection that is constantly present in this community among teachers, administrators, parents, and students alike. We have found a way to inform so many readers both within and outside the Bank Street community of what we are so proud of—the effort and commitment of those at Bank Street to teach and to learn.

Volume VI covers articles representing the cutting edge thinking that belongs to Bank Street. Alexis Wright, Dean of Children’s Programs, has written an article regarding the collaborative work on brain-based research with faculty members in the School for Children and those in the Graduate School. The research is ongoing, but the first findings will be presented in the spring of 2016. Along the same lines, Edna Moy, an 8/9s teacher at Bank Street, shares her own interest in mindfulness with an article on how she explored and applied the practices of mindfulness with her class of 8/9s. Edna’s success within her own classroom as well as her enthusiasm for this approach has now influenced many other faculty members within the School for Children. In the third article, Emily Linsay, a 4/5s teacher and Greg David, a 9/10s teacher along with Jose Guzman, the math/science coordinator, collaborated to write an article regarding the Buddies Program at Bank Street. With the input from many other members of the faculty, the article describes the program and the significant role it plays in the life of individual students and the community as a whole. The fourth article is a conversation between Laura Sametz, a parent of a 12/13s, and Claire Mansfield, a 6/7s teacher, on Green Action, Bank Street’s commitment to the environment and its impact on our strong belief in community and social justice. And finally, The Last Word, Irene Lowenson’s graduation speech in June 2014, which reflects one individual student’s view of herself and her Bank Street experience.

Volume VI of Progressive Education in Context is our way of offering the reader a glimpse into what happens within the walls of Bank Street. The work presented here is an example of the thoughtful collaboration that is part of our fabric. We hope that you will enjoy these articles and gain an even deeper insight and understanding of what the Bank Street School for Children is all about.