Marilyn photo

Marilyn Felt's educational Legacy

"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder"
Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Marilyn Felt was both an educator and playwright. In each domain she challenges the audience - students or theatre-goers - with difficult, open questions and provides assistance to them as they construct their own solutions. This Web site is devoted to celebrating and disseminating Marilyn Felt's lifetime body of work, especially the Exploring Childhood curriculum which, regrettably, is not elsewhere available. Exploring Childhood involves many aspects of infant and child development, parenthood, and, family interactions. Exploring Childhood addresses many kinds of problem situations - those specific to single-parent families, those resulting from childrens' handicaps, and those resulting in stress and abuse. It teaches students to observe carefully in real-world settings, to analyze, to propose solutions and then to discuss them. This curriculum once used in six thousand schools, is unique and powerful both in its subject matter and pedagogy. Its materials include thousands of pages of text - student guides, teacher manuals, workbooks, thirty-five 16mm films, posters, audio recordings, and filmstrips.

Exploring Childhood was only one high point in a productive forty-year career in curriculum development and in drama. Descriptions of and pointers to her other works are also presented on this site.


September 28, 2008

Six Exploring Childhood films have been added to this site, making a total of fourteen. Among them is a 1972 view of T. Berry Brazelton in Gabriel Is Two Days Old (see The EC Materials for a complete list of films). Henry Felt found and digitized the LP record Commentaries on the Family and Society Films presenting views of Uri Bronfenbrenner, Jerome Kagan, and, Frieda Rebelsky among others, the first audio material we have obtained. We now have an August 2008 interview with Tom Fitzgerald, who worked with the Exploring Childhood development team, both teaching the curriculum and coordinating its dissemination across eight western states. And a wonderful first-hand account by Jennifer Davis-Kay of Marilyn's role in developing the Beyond Blame curriculum. A number of improvements in the appearance of the Web site have been made incorporating user suggestions.

The Messages page has been plagued by trash-strewing software robots. To address this problem messages now have to terminate in two periods - '..' in order to be posted. There is currently an occasional hard-to-reproduce in the 'Add Message' page when accessed via Internet Explorer 7.

Note that each film page takes a while to download and its contents are not accessible until the page is completely downloaded.

July 20, 2008

Nearly all the print content of Exploring Childhood is now available - about 3500 pages of text plus posters. Eight films are posted and others are being worked on. Filmstrips and audio materials have not yet been located. The Web site is not finished (it will never be) but is now sufficiently complete and polished to be made available to a wide audience. Ideas about dissemination will be greatly appreciated.

May 25, 2008

An update to this Web site has just been downloaded. Many small changes (an improved FAQ, for example.) And the amount of content has been doubled. Nearly all Exploring Childhood booklets are now available and several films (see The EC Materials). A message board has been added for your inputs. Let us know what you think about this Web site.

March 25, 2008

This Web site is being gradually implemented. About half of available textual material has been scanned and posted thus far. We have found ten of the Exploring Childhood 16mm films and are having them digitized so that they too can be made available. We hope eventually to document the history of Exploring Childhood with interviews and comments by participants in that program.

We are actively searching for more information about Marilyn's work - especially for those items marked as missing in the Exploring Childhood List of Materials and information about Marilyn's role in the creation of the Bromley-Heath Childcare Center