The Bank Street College Graduate School of Education offers internationally renowned master’s level teacher certification programs from early childhood through middle grades with a number of specializations, programs, and pathways. The graduate school also offers several additional programs, including leadership, museum education, literacy, and child life. Its graduates serve in a multitude of schools and other organizations in and beyond the New York metropolitan area. Bank Street College and its graduates have been responsible for significant reforms of schooling in a number of schools where Bank Street – prepared teachers and principals congregate.
In May 2012, Bank Street College contracted with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) to design and implement an independent, multiyear, multiphase study examining the preparation, practices, and effectiveness of graduates of Bank Street College teacher certification programs who graduated between 2002 and 2012.
This study has allowed us to explore the outcomes of a unique, longstanding institution of teacher preparation that has a clear vision of its pedagogical goals and strategies. The Bank Street developmental-interaction approach—identified by many in the field as the “Bank Street approach” or the “Bank Street way”—promotes progressive, developmentally grounded education that places children at the center and their learning at the fore of the teacher’s consciousness. Bank Street is also known for helping teachers learn how to focus on the social context of children and their families, and support individual approaches to learning, including those of students with notable learning differences. Bank Street is further known for its careful integration of intense and well-planned student teaching with coursework that is both theoretically rich and deeply practical.
Bank Street commissioning this study is a sign of its institutional reflectiveness and the importance that the organization places on evaluating and continually improving its work. In order to comprehend and evaluate the impact of a robust, multifaceted enterprise such as teacher education, we used a multipronged approach that included interviews of college faculty; extensive surveys of graduates, comparison teachers, and employers; extended observations and interviews in support of classroom and school-level case studies; and evaluation of pupil learning gains. Our focus in this study is primarily comparative and descriptive. Through surveys of graduates and employers, we identified programmatic foci and strengths. Via case studies of classrooms and schools that exemplified the Bank Street developmental-interaction approach, we built detailed descriptive case studies of this work in practice.
The results of these many efforts comprise a series of publications, Teaching for a Changing World: The Graduates of Bank Street College of Education, which include:
The Threads They Follow: Bank Street Teachers in a Changing World (Comprehensive Report) >> Download PDF
The Preparation, Professional Pathways, and Effectiveness of Bank Street Graduates (Technical Report) >> Download PDF
Learning to Play, Playing to Learn: The Bank Street Developmental-Interaction Approach in Liliana’s Kindergarten Classroom (Case Study) >> Download PDF
Artful Teaching and Learning: The Bank Street Developmental-Interaction Approach at Midtown West School (Case Study) >> Download PDF
A School Growing Roots: The Bank Street Developmental-Interaction Approach at Community Roots Charter School (Case Study) >> Download PDF
A new book, Global Education Reform: How Privatization and Public Investment Influence Education Outcomes, provides a powerful analysis of these different ends of an ideological spectrum – from market-based experiments to strong state investments in public education.