The Block Connection

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Education reform, Featured | 0 comments

The Block Connection

Sharing the Legacy of Caroline Pratt

Part 1

Caroline Pratt, inventor of the unit block system, founded the progressive City and Country School in 1914. Ten years ago, the school developed the Block Connection initiative as a way to open communication between their teachers and teachers from Head Start, day care and public schools.

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Sharing the Legacy of Caroline Pratt – Part 2

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Education reform, Featured | 0 comments

The Block Connection

Sharing the Legacy of Caroline Pratt

Part 2

City and Country School teachers share their impressions of the Block Connection project: Nicolás Dumit Estévez worked with Prekindergarten, Nina Farrell with Kindergarten, Erin Teesdale with First Grade, and Ruth Conroy with Second Grade. All four C&C teachers described how readily PS130 students took to working with blocks, and how open the public school teachers were to being mentored by City and Country teachers.

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Connecting with Blocks in the Age of IM

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Education reform, Featured | 0 comments

Connecting with Blocks in the Age of IM

At a time when the digital screen claims hegemony as the platform for fostering social interactions, it is important to halt the next click of one’s fingertip on that iPhone (or whichever digital device you are drawn to) to pay attention to the role of unit blocks in bringing people together and hence, in kindling community. And yes, while one could argue for the effectiveness of burgeoning technologies capable of linking individuals residing at two opposite ends of our Earth versus the more local scope that unit blocks can activate in terms of drawing them together, there is a quality in the face-to-face interactions demanded by working with a physically tangible and open ended material that cannot be easily replicated otherwise. I propose that the centerpiece of the historic City and Country School’s (C&C) curriculum for its lower school, the good old wooden unit block, as envisioned and brought to fruition by radical educator Caroline Pratt more than one hundred years ago, continues to hold the power to push one to rethink social connections at a time when social media predominate.

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