What is the Bank Street Curriculum?

Bank Street’s Developmental Interaction Approach

The Bank Street Curriculum is a method of teaching that involves a child in different kinds of child-care programs. They are given a chance to develop emotionally, physically, socially and also cognitively. This curriculum generally includes more than one subject and is imparted in groups. It gives the children the scope to learn at various levels through different methods. Bank Street’s Developmental Interaction Approach is based on the theories of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, John Dewey and Lucy Sprague Mitchell, among others. The Developmental Interaction Approach stresses that the optimal educational process maximizes children’s direct and rich interactions with a wide variety of materials, ideas and people in their environment.

The Bank Street Curriculum ensures that children become lifelong learners and continue their learning process by interacting with their social, political and geographical environment. They are taught with the help of a myriad ways like playing and learning with blocks, solving puzzles, going for field trips and engaging in other practical work in the labs. This theory believes that school can be satisfying, sensible, and stimulating. A school is an important part in the life of a child, the place where a child begins to learn, ask questions and experiment with the things around him. As the kids grow up a little, they learn to exchange ideas with each others and thus increase their limit of knowledge.

For children above the age of 5 years, the classroom can be an organized and efficient place to work, where they can gain motor and sensory experiences. The rooms are usually rich in colours, which add to the liveliness of the children consciously or unconsciously, impelling them to participate and interact with their surroundings. The classrooms should have interest corners where the students can put up their artistic creation, using language and portray experiences from social spheres of life. The tables should be of multi usage, which can be used while writing and also drawing. Libraries are an inevitable part of a school, as it facilitates extra curricular reading for the children.

The Bank Street’s Developmental Interaction Approach demands well designed classrooms as they help the child to grow up in a controlled environment and learn to get disciplined. In this way, the Bank Street both mirrors and greatly differs from the Montessori curriculum. The teachers are very important in the lives of the students. They must treat the children with respect so that their self respect is built up. The teachers’ faith in the children that they can do well goes a long way for them to excel. Transitions from one form of activity to another are important. Changing the subjects at regular intervals helps the child to attain a sense of direction, and take responsibility for their own actions. This way, the children develop inner controls that make him disciplined for facing the outer world.

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