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Bank Street Developmental Interaction Approach

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 approach aims for actively involving children in acquiring competence. Choice, active investigation, independent pursuit and learning through discovery are dominant components of the learning climate. The curriculum is flexible within a planned framework encompassing developmentally appropriate knowledge and skills. Teachers seize every opportunity to promote cognitive development by creating a climate that encourages questioning, exploration and children’s growing understanding of patterns, rhythms and relationships in the ideas and environment around them (Nager & Shapiro, 2005).