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Progressive Education

Progressive Education in Context: Volume III


Progressive Education in Context has become a tradition at Bank Street. Volume III continues to focus on the life of Bank Street from the many perspectives that live within the walls of the school. Contributors to this volume include a current parent, the two school psychologists, two Upper School teachers, and a 2011 graduate of the School for Children. Once again, we want our readers to get to know Bank Street from as many different points of view as possible.

The first article, A Parent’s Point of View, is written by Sandra Pinnavaia, who has had years of experience as a Bank Street parent and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees. Sandra shares her observations of a Bank Street education through the experiences of her three children: two who graduated and one who will be in the 7th Grade (12/13s) this year. She reflects upon why her family chose Bank Street “three times over” for very different children and why she believes it is a “very special place to begin a child’s educational journey.”

The second article, What Are You Doing for Others, is written by Traci Pearl and Sasha Elias, two 6th Grade (11/12s) teachers in the Upper School. Traci and Sasha have developed a thoughtful and effective Community Service program for the Upper School students (5th through 8th grade), known as Day of Service, with which the response to the question, “What are you doing for others?” is answered with pride and enthusiasm. Their article addresses the mission behind the Day of Service as well as the practical plan to put it in action. Students in the Upper School find meaning and purpose in this opportunity, which, each year, will extend beyond this event.

In the article Ron Taffel: Visiting Scholar at Bank Street, Anne Santa and Buffy Smith, the School for Children psychologists, describe the yearlong work with the author and well-known psychologist Ron Taffel. Anne and Buffy worked closely with Ron throughout the year as he conducted workshops with both parents and faculty to address many of the current issues that face children and adults, as outlined in his books: Childhood Unbound and Second Family. At the end of the article, we include a list of suggestions that Ron presented in his final workshop about how to communicate with your child.

Finally, The Last Word was written by Abby Miller for graduation. Abby was a member of the School for Children Class of 2011 and currently attends Dalton. In the tradition of a Bank Street graduation, Abby had 1.5 to 2 minutes to find a way to give back to Bank Street in any format that was meaningful to her. Abby wrote an essay in which she beautifully reflected on her experience at Bank Street, in terms of her learning at specific junctures in her education and what it meant to her, then and now.