Legacy of “the Gardener”: Bev Bos

“Experience is not the best teacher, it’s the only teacher.”-Bev Bos


“Our flexibility and willingness to follow a child’s lead will allow remarkable things to happen, if we let them.”-Bev Bos

This past week we in the field of Early Childhood Education lost one of our heroes, Bev Bos. For over 40 years she advocated for and educated young children through hands on play and discovery. She passed away on February 4th. To many of us she was an inspiring leader, a passionate educator, a fellow advocate, and someone we aspired to emulate. She spoke the truth in love! In love of children, in love of society, in love of education, in love of humanity. Her truth is something that we have been spreading, hoping that it takes hold in every early learning environment.

“Earliest isn’t best. Fastest isn’t best. If what we want for our children is a lifetime of excellence — in experience, in ability, in knowledge — we must be responsible enough to wait and thorough enough to look at all sides of their development.”-Bev Bos

Check out this video of “20/20” from 25 years ago…

At the end, and I hope you took the time to watch it all, she insists that she is right. Well guess what, she is! Now 25 years later we have a growing body of evidence that proves that her understanding of how children learn, grow, and develop, is spot on.

“If it hasn’t been in the hand…and the body…it can’t be in the brain.”-Bev Bos

She devoted her life to this message! The pessimist in me wonders how she felt near the end of her journey, as it seems that things have only gotten worse in early childhood education. That her message failed to influence the right people. The optimist in me celebrates her life and passion and sees a rather large community of educators coming together to make her message, and now our message, heard. The realist in me sees that we have our work cut out for us and we have a long way to go.

Progressive Early Learning is devoted to this message! Children grow and learn best, when they are allowed to play, when they are allowed to direct their own learning, when they are allowed to explore and discover. We look forward to being one of many voices to proclaim this message, and to continue the work of “the Gardener” Bev Bos!

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