Revitalizing the Children’s Garden

childrens-drawings

There’s a crisis in the American kindergarten. It’s become the new first grade—if not beyond. In April, more than 200 teachers descended on Bank Street College of Education in New York City to reaffirm the unique and vital role of kindergarten in children’s lives.

“Play is the highest expression of the child’s development,” Friedrich Froebel wrote in the Education of Man. We have to forgive the beloved founder of kindergarten for his lapse from gender neutrality, Cecilia Traugh, Bank Street’s dean of the graduate school, reminded the audience as the celebration began. He lived in the 18th and . . . Read full article →

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Harriet Cuffaro's Building Blocks of Educational Equity

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I recently learned that Harriet Cuffaro had left us. Suddenly, I was back on the classroom floor at Bank Street College of Education, where she taught for three decades. Well past childhood, we were deep into block building, one of the most rigorous assignments I encountered in graduate school.

Cuffaro, a renowned progressive educator in the mode of John Dewey, championed open-ended play and experiential learning. In the introduction to Bank Street’s Occasional Paper Series No. 32, or “Festschrift—a volume reflecting the values, theories, and passions of a senior scholar in a field”—Miriam Raider-Roth, a former . . . Read full article →

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