Prospect Center for Education and Research was a wide-ranging network of people interested in and committed to observation and description as the ground for teaching and inquiry.
Prospect began as a school for children in 1965 and continued until 1991. Prospect’s philosophy and descriptive processes were created at the school and continue to be used in schools and inquiry groups across the country. Attention to student work was central to the school and philosophy and in 2005, Prospect’s Archives, comprising longitudinal collections of the art, writing, and other works by individual children, totaling about 300,000 pieces, were donated to the University of Vermont Special Collections.
Valuing the ways children spontaneously inquire and make meaning, and starting fom children’s strengths and capacities, Prospect’s descriptive processes allow the respectful study of children’s learning, activities, and works. The processes most often focus on a child or a child’s work, but are also used to review a teacher’s or administrator’s practice, a school, or an issue such as curriculum. They enable groups of educators and parents to create a continuing conversation in which to explore and rethink their work and the aims and art of teaching. They are the basis for consultations
BOOKS: From Another Angle illustrates and explains how to do a Descriptive Review of the Child, and Starting Strong introduces the Prospect philosophy through a series of essays by Patricia F. Carini, one of the founders of the Prospect School.
Following is a selection of papers published by the Center and articles from the Prospect Review.