A convergence of research from several fields, including neuroscience, has confirmed what parents and teachers have long known—that young children’s brains are primed for learning, making the early years a time of immense opportunity. Early experiences build a foundation for future learning by decisively influencing the architecture of the brain. But too often, opportunities are missed. Particularly in the nation’s historically underserved communities, the infrastructure to support optimal development and learning in the early years remains weak.
Bank Street founded the Straus Center to contribute to effective practices in New York City and across the country. The Center will conduct research on effective early childhood practice and policy from diverse perspectives. It will bring to bear current and new research on quality learning environments, develop supports for educators and families given the often disparate array of early childhood services, and utilize the research base to make policy recommendations.
In an era of increased pressures from higher standards and evolving evaluation systems, the work of educators to better meet students’ academic and socio-emotional needs has never been so daunting. Or important.
To achieve greater equity, Bank Street Education Center works with school systems to improve instruction at scale to ensure all students have meaningful opportunities in college, in their career, and in their community.
Combining the College's deep knowledge of how children and adults develop and learn best with hard-won insights gained from systems-level change management experience in the nation's largest district, Bank Street Education Center is the ideal partner to support school systems in today's complex climate.
We’ve learned through decades of experience that aspiring teachers need opportunities to practice in schools, support from mentors who are great practicing teachers themselves, and time to connect theory and practice. However, efforts to expand high-quality programs, like teacher residencies, are frequently stalled because of a lack of consistent funding.
We are launching a policy initiative aimed at securing sustainable public funding for high-quality teacher preparation programs. We will work to build a coalition of teacher training programs, school districts, and states interested in pushing to find ways to solve this problem—including by piloting new program models—in order to increase access to high-quality preparation for teachers nationwide.