Navigation Menu

Preschool

Imaginal education was first piloted in preschools, starting in Fifth City Chicago and then replicated around the world

Four Schools Within the Preschool

Launched in 1964, the Fifth City Preschool in Chicago was the first structural application of a curriculum focused on changing images.  Uniquely the preschool had four schools:  infant, mini, pre and kinder, creating new images for each age level. The curriculum, Basic, Relational, Psychological and Imaginal, was taught as a spiral curriculum in each of the four schools.  

 

Two preschool leaders recall the beginnings of designing and implementing the preschool:  Aimee Hillard, “Launching the Fifth City Preschool – As I Remember It” (2018) and Sandra Conant, “The Fifth City Preschool (Chicago, 1967-68)” (May 2019). The first Imaginal Education Preschool Manual: Creating the Future describes the theory and practices of teaching preschoolers.. 

THE INFANT SCHOOL

 

The Infant School had babies sixteen weeks eighteen months. A daily schedule and lesson plans  provided continuity. Each month the infant curriculum emphasized a different global culture. Learning that babies could learn to read if the words were large enough (taught by Dolman and Delacotto), the words were reviewed while the babies were diapered.

THE PRESCHOOL

 

The Preschool, serving three and four year olds, was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Head Start program in 1965 “because of its provocative approach to change images through art, images, dreams and metaphors”.  The daily curriculum, still being taught in 2020, bombards the preschoolers with strong positive images of personal integrity, freedom and creativity through rituals and songs. Karen Bueno documented the preschool songs in Children Singing the New Millennium.   The Fifth City Preschool was recognized by Headstart in 1969 as “one of the ten best preschools in the nation“.

THE MINI SCHOOL

 

The Mini School served children eighteen months until they turned two.  The 1967  Mini School Manual describes the school along with eight weeks of lesson plans. A summary of mini-school learnings are shared in this 1973 report, 5th City Preschooling Institute: An Experiment in Early Education..

KINDER SCHOOL

 

 

Five year olds attended Kinder School a half day and the public school, Leif Erickson Elementary, kindergarten the other half of the day. Marjorie Branch, the principal at Erickson, told 5th City Preschool staff that the Kinder Schoolers were always ahead of the other children who did not have preschool education. She said the 5th City kindergartners had a a “strong personal identity, an appreciation for learning and working with others, a sense of delight and wonder, and the ability to communicate with confidence.”

Six steps for shaping images.

THE INFANT SCHOOL

 

An Infant School serves children from sixteen weeks until they are eighteen months (or potty trained). A daily schedule and lesson plans  provided continuity. Each month the infant curriculum emphasized a different global culture. Learning that babies could learn to read if the words were large enough (taught by Dolman and Delacotto), the words were reviewed while the babies were diapered.

THE MINI SCHOOL

 

Mini School serves children eighteen months until they turn two.  The 1967  Mini School Manual describes the school along with eight weeks of lesson plans. A summary of mini-school learnings are shared in this 1973 report, 5th City Preschooling Institute: An Experiment in Early Education..

THE PRESCHOOL

 

When the Preschool, serving three and four year olds, began in 1965, it was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Head Start program “because of its provocative approach to change images through art, images, dreams and metaphors”.  The daily curriculum, still being taught in 2020, bombards the preschoolers with strong positive images of personal integrity, freedom and creativity through rituals and songs. Karen Bueno documented the preschool songs in Children Singing the New Millennium.   The Fifth City Preschool was recognized by Headstart in 1969 as “one of the ten best preschools in the nation“.

KINDER SCHOOL

 

Kinder School supports five-year-old children attending a half day of kindergarten at a public school by providing another half day of education. Marjorie Branch, the principal at Erickson Elementary School, told 5th City Preschool staff that the Kinder Schoolers were always ahead of the other children who did not have preschool education. She said the 5th City kindergartners had a a “strong personal identity, an appreciation for learning and working with others, a sense of delight and wonder, and the ability to communicate with confidence.”