Over a century ago, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, one of Bank Street College’s founders, put into practice a vision of teaching and learning enmeshed in the physical, social, and political city spaces of young peoples’ daily lives. Central to her work was reimagining geography, grounding the discipline in the here and now of children’s neighborhoods, connecting with community members and city spaces as a means to explore complex relationships within the wider world. Mitchell considered working across different modes of engagement as an integral practice for children to learn about their worlds and their roles within it: physical movement, like walking and subway riding, and the construction of maps with varying scales, materials, and symbols (Mitchell, 1991). Mitchell also envisioned movement and mapping as essential for teachers’ learning, leading multi-day Long Trips along the eastern seaboard to make visible educators’ connections to contemporary social, political, and environmental realities, and connecting city and rural locales. Temporally, these practices and tools acted as playful intermediaries between visible and invisible interrelationships constituting children’s and adult’s lives and livelihoods.



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