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MCS Contributes to the Progressive Education Conversation

Saturday, April 7, 2018
PENNY Conference

Manhattan Country School has a five-decade history of providing an engaging progressive education program for its students. It also has an impressive track record of contributing to the discussion and development of progressive education with schools in New York City and across the country. In 2015, the school served as a host of  “Access, Equity and Activism: Teaching the Possible,” the 2015 Progressive Education Network Conference.

On Saturday, March 10, 2018, several educators from MCS participated in the Progressive Education Network of New York’s annual conference. “Progressive Education in Practice” was a day-long conference that explored the way progressive practices live in public and private schools across New York City. Through various workshops attendees addressed the following questions:

  • Why do we need progressive education?
  • What can progressive schools and educators gain from working together?
  • How can we deepen and refine our own practices and expand the reach of progressive education so that more youth can benefit from this approach?

Several MCS teachers presented workshops at the conference. Nassim Zerriffi, MCS’ seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher and activism coordinator presented “The Impact of Islam on Western Civilization and American Culture: Fighting Islamophobia Through Social Studies and STEAM.” Sixth-grade teacher Karen Zaidberg and Math Coordinator Robert Berkman partnered to present “Data Driven: Teaching History and Math Through the 1790 Census and Lies2K.” Math Specialist Flannery Denny presented “Middle School Math as a Tool for Social Justice” and Librarian Jay Fung partnered with Jessica Bobbins from the Children’s Workshop School to present “A Private and Public School Collaboration—The MLK Living the Dream Book Award Project.”

MCS also recently served as host of “Middle School Connections,” the New York State Association of Independent School’s conference for middle school educators. This fourth-annual gathering of provided an opportunity to talk about curriculum and issues specific to this middle school students. MCS teachers presented the following workshops:

  • Belief and Power: An Interdisciplinary Humanities Unit
  • Technology and Language Learning
  • Progressive Advisement Curriculum
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Book Award
  • Mapping Environmental Justice
  • Building and Running a Staff Council
  • Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools

These recent engagements are just two examples of MCS’ ongoing commitment to advancing the discussion and practice of progressive education.