With the increasing visibility of racial injustice, the rise of high-stakes standardized testing, and the ever-increasing gap between wealthy and poor communities, the democratic principles of progressive education have never felt more important and critical to families and students today. Community, voice, play, choice, observation, learning by doing – these beliefs within the context of our world and society are some of the principles the original progressive thinkers espoused. With this network, we hope to build a shared understanding of these principles and what they look like in practice in our classrooms today.
How Did We Get Here?
In October 2015, the Progressive Education Network (PEN) hosted a conference on “Access, Equity, and Activism: Teaching the Possible.” Spurred by this conference, Manhattan Country School, Castle Bridge School, and Bank Street College began a partnership to create a progressive education collaborative, named PENNY, consisting of public, charter and independent progressive schools and teacher education programs in and around New York City.