Lucy Sprague Mitchell


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Lucy Sprague Mitchell influenced America's education system greatly. She created the Bank Street College and her work led to the development of America's head start programs we have today.

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Lucy Sprague Mitchell

  1. 1. Lucy Sprague Mitchell Jesse Webb
  2. 2.  Born July 2, 1878 in Chicago, Illinois  Died October 15, 1967 – she was 89 years old
  3. 3. Family Background  Her family had high expectations that eventually made her feel like she could never please them and was not good enough  Her feelings of inadequacy led to her theories about children’s literature and education  She was not very close with her father but she was influenced by his interest in the education reform
  4. 4. Education  Self educated until 16  Attended Radcliffe as an undergraduate and graduated magna cum laude with honors in Philosophy in 1900  It was rare for women in this time to seek this level of education
  5. 5. Interesting facts  She suffered from uncontrollable nervous ticks until 16  She was appointed the 1st dean of women at the University of California, Berkeley in 1906  Married Wesley Clair Mitchell in 1912 and had 2 children of their own and adopted 2 more  Published in 1921, a collection of short stories called the “Here and Now Storybook” which set a precedent for realistic children's literature  She created a writers workshop in 1937 established to help authors better understand child development, interests, and to promote rhythm and rhymes in language
  6. 6. Interesting Facts continued…  Also published “Know Your Children in School” in 1954, it highlighted child development and outside factors that influence a child’s school life  She was awarded the Graduate Chapter medal for pioneer work in education by the Alumnae Association of Radcliffe College – 1956
  7. 7.  In her time children were taken care of but silenced. They were looked upon as inferior and given strict scheduled lifestyles, she didn’t understand how anyone could expect to teach children when they do not understand the way children learn and what they are interested in learning  She wanted children to interact and learn through experiences  Her theories focused on relationships
  8. 8. Whole Children  She promoted raising what she called the WHOLE CHILD- this meant children were developmentally healthy and emotionally secure.  She believed that if people raise the whole child that society would progressively improve, this focused on fulfilling all of children’s needs not just their basic physical needs
  9. 9. Whole Teachers  In the 1930’s she trained teachers to become WHOLE TEACHERS to be able to teach and guide children to become WHOLE CHILDREN  Then, in 1931, she opened the Co-operative School for Student Teachers, later known as the Co-operative School for Teachers (CST)
  10. 10. Bureau of Educational Experiments  She started the Bureau of Educational Experiments in New York  The school served as a model for early education programs that were considered Developmentally Appropriate  The Bureau of Educational Experiments coordinated and sponsored experimental schools around the country and maintained its own nursery school.  The purpose of the Bureau of Educational Experiments was to teach students and conduct research- they focused on child development rather than a learning specific curriculum, they observed how development is stimulated by experiences and activities, they focused on scientific stages of development and establishing norms  She believed children learn best in an environment that is appropriate for their age and stage of development  She taught teachers that not all children develop at the same rate.  The curriculum was child-centered, promoting the growth of the whole child by focusing on each child’s mental, physical, emotional, and social needs.  During her observations of children she found that language development is more important that they thought before
  11. 11. Bank Street College of Education  In 1950 the Bureau of Educational Experiments became certified as the Bank Street College of Education
  12. 12. Influences  Based her theory off the idea that children had the want and desire to learn.  Influence by John Dewey and Jane Addams  Lucy came to view Dewey's theories of stimulating the creativity of children and encouraging each child's individuality as the key to effective education
  13. 13. How have her theories impacted education • • Her school programs were seen as loony and radical in the 1910’s but by the 1950’s her schools were considered developmentally appropriate and became traditional nursery schools Her work led to the development of head start programs
  14. 14. The whole child The whole teacher Lucy Sprague Mitchell Bureau of Educational Experiments
  15. 15. Lucy Sprague Mitchell “We hope to imbue students with an experimental, critical, ardent approach to their work and to the social problems of the world. If we can do this, we are ready to leave the future to them.” Lucy Sprague Mitchell (1878-1967)