The City and Country Archives
City and Country’s Archives contain an extensive collection of writings, photographs, research articles and children’s work related specifically to City and Country’s pedagogical methods, history and evolution as well as early progressive education in general. Many of these original writings and artifacts are irreplaceable and invaluable to the study of progressive education.
Included in the collection are the early Bureau of Educational Experiments Records (beginning in 1916), as the Bureau was located at City and Country School from the earliest years. The School was one laboratory for the research staff of the Bureau. The BEE Records are an accumulation of the research on the value of experimental schools in their efforts to direct the future of education for all children.
The City and Country Archives contain a rich collection of first-hand material for educators and historians – a treasure trove of materials which has, and will continue to guide educators.
The Archives are available for research, by appointment. We welcome donations of materials from alumni and friends of C&C. For more information about the Archives, or to schedule an appointment to visit the Archives, please contact the Archivist Jordis Rosberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, (212) 242 – 7802.
Caroline Pratt, City and Country’s founder, was an innovative teacher at the forefront of American educational reform. Directly addressing what she observed as the mode of learning natural to children, Pratt developed alternatives to “the repression of formal education.”
City and Country opened in the autumn of 1914 in a three-room apartment in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Soon after, Lucy Sprague Mitchell joined Pratt in her work, offering financial assistance that afforded larger quarters for City and Country’s schoolhouse, along with her own teaching expertise. The School moved to buildings purchased by Mitchell (and later sold to the School) on West 12th and 13th Streets, where it remains today.
Caroline Pratt believed the use of open-ended work materials offers children the opportunity to recreate the world around them and dramatize the events occurring in it. The wooden unit blocks she developed for City and Country children ages two through seven were widely admired and copied. The School’s basic materials and developmentally driven pedagogy attracted national interest and acclaim from many advocates, including noted educator and reformer John Dewey.
Encouraged by Dewey and other progressive educators, Pratt and her teachers began a practice of documenting their work in unprecedented detail. More than 100 years of observation and practice provide the framework for the integrated curriculum employed today.
City and Country School’s philosophy and educational program continue to exert an important influence on educators nationwide and globally. The School receives frequent requests for observational visits and opportunities to conduct workshops using our materials and premises. Our educators are asked regularly to speak about their teaching methods. The dynamic nature of Caroline Pratt’s educational legacy makes City and Country’s program as relevant today as it was 95 years ago.
For more information on City and Country School, please visit www.cityandcountry.org.