Message from Our Dean
I am thrilled to become the new dean of Bank Street Graduate School of Education—a storied institution in the field of education with a reputation for preparing excellent teachers, school and district leaders, and educators for museums and cultural institutions, and advocates in health care and community settings. Having worked in the field of education—as a journalist, teacher, researcher, and leader—for the last 33 years, I am keenly aware of current challenges we face at this moment in US history. The legitimacy of the knowledge base about teaching, learning, and leading that we represent is under attack. Education is a profession because of this knowledge base, and it is central to the careful and thoughtful preparation of teachers and leaders who apply this knowledge every day to improve the lives of children. Every parent wants well-prepared educators to support the learning of their children, but much of the political discourse of the last 20 years minimizes the need for such preparation and thus the very essence of the professionalism of our field.
Schools that prepare educators must reclaim the narrative about what is good teaching and learning in the 21st Century and reinforce why the knowledge and expertise developed within teacher education and education leadership programs is required to become a good, professional educator—the kind of educator all parents want their children to have. Bank Street Graduate School of Education, more than any other school of education that I know of, has a focus, a mission, and a passion for training the best educators in the field. Our faculty consistently applies its expertise to training professionals each and every day. An important aspect of this commitment is Bank Street’s tradition and legacy of proven progressive education strategies and techniques, a pedagogical approach, which is most deeply aligned with social science and scientific research on how children learn and most committed to culturally responsive education. When we think about strategies for reclaiming the narrative and public discourse on what constitutes good education and what sort of training is needed to prepare professionals to do this work, Bank Street enters that public conversation on solid footing, having been an institution that stands for excellent teaching and learning for more than 100 years.
If you, too, have a keen understanding of the need to lead with educational strategies that support a multiracial democracy, join our amazing faculty and staff, our passionate students and alums, and prepare yourself for a profession that can—and will—transform the world.
Amy Stuart Wells, PhD
Dean, Bank Street Graduate School of Education