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Collection Summary
Administrative Information
Access
System of Arrangement
Scope and Content Note
Administrative History
Publication Rights
Container List
Prospect School and Center
The Prospect School
The Prospect Center
Prospect Archive of Children's Works

Prospect School and Center for Research and Education Archives

Collection Summary

Repository
University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections
Creator
Prospect Archives and Center for Education and Research .
Creator
Prospect School (North Bennington, Vt.).
Title
Prospect School and Center for Research and Education Archives
ID
mss.001
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1965-1991
Date [inclusive]
1964-2011
Extent
284.0 Linear feet
Location
Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library Library Research Annex
Language
Abstract
The Prospect School and Center for Education and Research Archives contains the archives of the Prospect School (1965-1991) and the Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research (1979-2010). The largest portion of the collection is comprised of the Prospect Archive of Children’s Work, which consists of visual and written work produced by more than sixty children who attended Prospect School. The collection also includes records and publications documenting Prospect’s administration, curriculum, adult educational programs, and consulting projects. The approximately 284 linear feet of materials in the collection encompasses manuscripts, artwork, photographs, and films dating between 1964 and 2011.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] Prospect School and Center for Research and Education Archives, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections February 2011 

Access

The Prospect Collection is open for research with the exception of three containers comprising a time capsule to be unsealed in 2016. Due to the sensitive nature of the student records it contains, all users are required to review and sign a Confidentiality, Access, and Reproduction Agreement prior to viewing any materials. Copies of the agreement are located in the first folder of every box.

For privacy reasons, all student names appearing on folder titles, as well as many appearing within the materials themselves, have been replaced with pseudonyms. Some teacher names have also been replaced with pseudonyms. The convention of parentheses around a name appearing in the collection indicates a pseudonym.

Following is a list of child pseudonyms to assist researchers in determining if a name they encounter within the collection is an actual student name or a pseudonym:

Abby

Abe

Adam

Adele

Agnes

Al

Alec

Alex

Ali

Alice

Allison

Alma

Alva

Amber

Amity

Amy

Anders

Andrea

Andrew

Angela

Angie

Angus

Anita

Anna

Annette

Ansel

Anton

Antonia

April

Ara

Ardis

Arian

Arlo

Arno

Arthur

Ash

Astrid

Athena

Austin

Ava

Babs

Barry

Bart

Bea

Ben

Bernard

Bert

Beryl

Bess

Beth

Betsy

Bette

Bianca

Bill

Blair

Bliss

Brad

Brenda

Brent

Brett

Bruce

Buck

Buffy

Cal

Caleb

Candy

Cara

Carin

Carla

Carly

Carol

Carter

Cary

Casey

Cathy

Cecelia

Cedric

Ceil

Chad

Charlotte

Cheri

Christian

Cindy

Claire

Claude

Clay

Clint

Clive

Clodagh

Colleen

Cora

Corrine

Daisy

Dale

Damon

Dana

Daphne

Dara

Darla

Darlene

Davis

Deborah

Dee

Deirdre

Delia

Dennis

Derek

Diane

Dick

Dinah

Dodi

Dolly

Don

Donald

Donny

Dora

Drew

Dru

Duane

Dwight

Eban

Echo

Edwin

Edwin

Einar

Elaine

Eli

Elias

Elina

Elisa

Elizabeth

Ellis

Elouise

Elsa

Elsbeth

Elton

Emily

Emma

Emmy

Enid

Enrica

Eric

Esta

Estelle

Esther

Etta

Eustis

Eva

Evan

Eve

Evelyn

Everett

Ezra

Faith

Faryl

Fay

Felix

Fletcher

Flip

Flora

Forrest

Fran

Frances

Francesca

Frank

Frankie

Franz

Fred

Gabe

Gabrielle

Gaby

Galen

Garth

Gary

Gaston

Geoff

George

Gerald

Gigi

Giles

Gina

Glen

Grace

Grant

Gregg

Greta

Gus

Guthrie

Guy

Hal

Hank

Harlan

Harlan

Harri

Hazel

Heidi

Helen

Hera

Hetty

Hilda

Holly

Hope

Humphrey

Ian

Ida

Ina

Iris

Irma

Irving

Isaac

Jack

Jackie

Jacob

Jan

Jane

Janet

Janis

Jean

Jed

Jeff

Jenny

Jeremy

Jill

Jim

Joanne

Joe

John

Jon

Jonah

Joni

Josh

Joshua

Jude

Judy

Jules

Julia

Julian

June

Karin/Karen

Karl

Katrina

Kay

Keenan

Keith

Kent

Kevin

Kip

Kit

Kris

Kurt

Lana

Lance

Lang

Larissa

Larry

Lars

Laura

Leah

Leda

Lee

Leo

Lev

Lewis

Libby

Lillian

Lincoln

Linden

Lisa

Lloyd

Loretta

Louise

Lucy

Luke

Lydia

Lyle

Lyman

Mac

Maggie

Malcolm

Mamie

Mara

Margie

Margot

Mark

Marnie

Marshall

Martha

Marty

Mary

Matt

Maude

Maurice

Mavis

Max

Maxine

May

Meg

Mel

Melinda

Merce

Mercia

Mia

Mick

Millicent

Mina

Mira

Miriam

Misha

Morris

Munro

Muriel

Myrna

Nan

Nathan

Ned

Neil

Nell

Nell

Nels

Nevis

Nina

Nixon

Noah

Nora

Norma

Norman

Norton

Oona

Opal

Orland

Orrin

Oscar

Otto

Owen

Paisley

Paloma

Pam

Patience

Patrick

Patti

Paul

Paula

Pearl

Peggy

Penny

Per

Percy

Philip

Phoebe

Piet

Polly

Priscilla

Quentin

Quint

Rachel

Rainer

Ralph

Randal

Randolph

Rashad

Ray

Rebecca

Reg

Reuben

Rhea

Rhonda

Rick

Rita

Rob

Rodney

Roger

Rolf

Ron

Rory

Rosa

Rosamonde

Ross

Roxann

Ruby

Rush

Ruth

Ryan

Sadie

Sally

Samantha

Sammy

Samson

Sandra

Sean

Serena

Serenity

Seth

Sherlock

Sid

Silas

Simon

Simson

Skip

Skyler

Sophie

Stan

Stella

Steven

Stewart

Sue

Suzanne

Sylvia

Tad

Teresa

Terrence

Terry

Tess

Thad

Thane

Tim

Tina

Toby

Todd

Tonya

Tonya

Topoz

Ursula

Val

Valerie

Van

Vera

Veronica

Vic

Vicki

Virginia

Wally

Wendy

Will

Will

Wilma

Winslow

Woody

Wyatt

Yana

York

Yves

Yvette

Yvonne

Zack

Zeke

Zelda

Zenith

Zoe

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

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Administrative History

The Prospect School, an independent school for elementary and middle school children, operated from 1965 to 1991. The School was founded with intent to join it with the Bennington public schools. The founders, Joan B. Blake, Louis Carini, Patricia Carini and Marion Stroud – all well-versed in the philosophy of John Dewey, received a small start-up grant from the Bennington Cooperative Project for Curriculum Development (CPCD). A subsequent and much larger grant under the newly enacted Elementary and Secondary Act (Title III) provided funding for a school comparable in population and cost to public schools in the Bennington area, for consultation to the schools brought together by CPCD, and for research to be conducted at Prospect and the CPCD schools.

The School, which received initial accreditation from the state of Vermont in 1968, grew from a single multi-age classroom for five- and six-year-olds, to encompass a full elementary and middle school for children ages four to thirteen. It provided individualized, independent learning for children using multi-age classroom grouping and personalized teaching. The School’s daily schedule included large blocks of time for its students to work with a broad range of materials individually and together, in self-directed ways.

The Prospect School staff evolved an innovative methodology sometimes referred to as Prospect’s Descriptive Processes. The idea was that a school committed to observational, descriptive inquiry could itself generate knowledge of children’s growth and learning, of curriculum, and of learning and teaching. The first of these processes, the Descriptive Review of the Child, served as paradigm for the others that followed. To make sense of their observations of children, staff met weekly for conversations structured to explore the interests and capacities of a particular child in an effort to make visible the child’s ways of engaging the world. The aim was to fold insights gained from the Descriptive Reviews directly into practice. Two monographs (1975 and 1979) articulated the philosophical, methodological frame for the processes.

The Prospect School’s methodology became widely known and studied by educators across the United States. By the late 1960s, School staff began to offer formal professional development programs for educators and consulting services for educational institutions through a wing of Prospect designated the Adjunct Services. In that same period, the School was named a Demonstration School for the State of Vermont and through federal funding from the Education Professions Development Act (EPDA) initiated a state-approved, post-B.A. Teacher Certification Program. In 1979, the organization was reorganized and renamed as the Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research, an umbrella encompassing the Prospect School, external services for educators and institutions, research projects, and the Prospect Archive of Children’s Work. The Center’s professional development programs included conferences for educators; intensive seminars and workshops, some conducted as part of degree-granting programs for several graduate schools in New England; and programs for visiting scholars held at Prospect School. The Center’s consulting services included professional development programs for the staff of educational institutions and research and documentation of school programs conducted within primary and secondary school settings. Prospect Center staff members, particularly Patricia Carini, published and spoke widely about the Prospect School’s methodology and the Center’s programs and services.

The Prospect Archive of Children’s Work contains the visual and written work left behind by more than sixty Prospect School students, as well as teacher records and additional work completed by some students before and after their years at the School and subsequently donated to the Archive. The Archive offers a longitudinal perspective on children’s thinking and growth. It was and continues to be used by teachers and other educators—employing methods for collaborative study developed at the Prospect Center—to further their understanding of individual children, of children in school, of what in the educational setting supports their learning, and ultimately, of larger questions about human work, thought, and capacity.

In 1985, the Prospect Center published The Reference Edition of the Prospect Archive, a compilation of work by and about thirty-six children who attended the Prospect School. In preparation for the publication, participants in the Center’s Archive Scholars/Fellows project of 1983-1985 went through each item in the children’s collections, organized and numbered it chronologically, and, together with other participants, used Prospect’s Descriptive Processes to make additional collaborative inquiries into the work and the common and divergent threads between the children. The Reference Edition consists of the following components: (a) visual and written work by the children, reproduced in their entirety in black and white on microfiche and selectively in color slide format; (b) “catalogues” for each child, containing year-by-year summaries of the child’s original collection preceded by an overall summary, all prepared by Archive Scholars/Fellows working with the original material; and (c) “narrative records” for each child containing transcriptions of Prospect School teachers’ weekly notes and semi-annual reports to parents, plus, as available, notes of Descriptive Reviews about the child and his/her work. Archive Scholars/Fellows selected images to be reproduced as color slides in the Reference Edition to represent characteristic and exceptional themes, motifs, stylistic tendencies, and choices of media, through the duration of each child’s collection.

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Scope and Content Note

The Prospect Collection consists of files generated and assembled by staff members at the Prospect School and the Prospect Center for Education and Research, and artwork and other school projects created by students who attended the Prospect School. The materials published as The Reference Edition of the Prospect Archive, including documents, slides, and microfiche, are drawn from a larger body of original student works, including artwork in various media, writing projects, math assignments, and three-dimensional pieces; along with notes on, evaluations, and descriptions of students and their work. The Prospect Collection also contains curriculum records; documentations of classrooms and the School as a whole; academic and staff calendars; lists of staff, students, and students’ parents; alumni surveys; board of trustees and committee meeting minutes; financial records; correspondence; memoranda; accreditation, planning, and consulting reports; documentations of Prospect’s summer institutes and syllabi for higher education programs; external and internal publications, including brochures, programs, press releases, newsletters, newspapers, articles, books, and transcripts of oral presentations; property deeds and plans; facilities maintenance records; grant proposals and reports; scrapbooks; video recordings; and photographs.

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System of Arrangement

The collection is arranged in four series: Prospect School and Center, containing materials related to both organizations (1964-2011); Prospect School, containing materials related specifically to the School (1965-1991); Prospect Center, containing materials related specifically to the Center (1967-2010); and the Prospect Archive of Children’s Work (1965-2010).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Prospect Archive of Children's Work (North Bennington, Vt.) .
  • Prospect Archives and Center for Education and Research .
  • Prospect School (North Bennington, Vt.).

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • School records
  • Scrapbooks
  • Videotapes

Subject(s)

  • Child development
  • Children's art
  • Education -- Philosophy
  • Observation (Educational method)
  • School children

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