Paul Shirk

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

Francisco Najera


In this paper I analyze the goals and practices of education that are implied in the mission statements and literature of Bank Street College of Education (Bank Street) and Teach for America (TFA). I noticed and struggled to understand the tension between the mission statements of the two organizations that I was a part of during my master's program. While analyzing the readings and my experiences, I began to see differences between these two organizations' theories and beliefs about child development. I considered how my experiences with children supported or refuted these beliefs. From Bank Street, I recognized many beliefs about child development that confirmed ideas and feelings that I have passionately considered in my own education and in my experience as a teacher. From TFA, I recognized beliefs about child development that have been sources of frustration. In summary, I've found that my experience at Bank Street has helped me to see education, like Dewey (1897) saw it, as "a process of living and not a preparation for future living."