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Prospect Archive of Children's Work

About the Prospect Archive of Children's Work

The Prospect Center for Education and Research, located in North Bennington, VT, started in 1965 as a school for elementary, and later, middle school children. The School closed in 1991 and the Center in 2010. Featured here are substantial, digitized selections of the work of nine students of the several hundred who attended the School.

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. Visual and written work left behind was gathered and saved and eventually became the Prospect Archive of Children's Work, which now also contains teacher records and some subsequently donated work.

The Archive is a unique resource, offering a longitudinal perspective on children’s thinking and growth. It has been used for many years by teachers and other educators—employing methods for collaborative study developed at the Prospect Center—to further 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. It is Prospect’s hope that the children’s work and supporting material on this site and in the Special Collections Library at UVM will be used by educators to continue their study in service to the idea that each child offers something new to the world, a fresh perspective, a renewed meaning, and that it is the work of education to enable that emergence.

Links to the collections of individual children’s work are at left, along with The Introduction to the Reference Edition of the Prospect Archive (1985), which offers background and descriptions of the Prospect School, the Archive of Children’s Work, and the Reference Edition itself, from which all the children’s work and related material on this site have been drawn. The Reference Edition of the Prospect Archive is a slide, microfiche and manuscript compilation of the complete works of thirty-six children.

Note: The convention of parentheses around the children’s names indicates a pseudonym.