Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Frank Pignatelli


As an institution committed to progressive education, Bank Street College shares the mission of educating for democracy with New York's small, progressive public schools. Case studies of three students and semi-structured interviews with Bank Street instructors and researchers illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of Bank Street's Professional Development in Early Adolescence program in preparing its graduates to teach successfully in small, progressive public school environments. Through a literature review, six distinct areas of teaching expertise are identified as factors which contribute to a teacher's success in such schools: Understanding the Child, Social Context, Classroom Life, Academic, Interpersonal and Professional. The students' experiences illustrate that the Early Adolescence program produces graduates who are well versed in a developmentalist perspective and curriculum planning, and who possess a well-developed professional identity and interpersonal skills. The program is less effective in preparing graduates to teach progressively given the varied learning styles, experiences and needs of the diverse students in their classrooms. Recommendations for possible changes to the Early Adolescence program are offered and potential implications for Bank Street College and the New York City Public Schools are discussed.