Dana Frantz Bentley is a preschool teacher at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has been an early childhood teacher for 11 years; she stepped into a preschool classroom weeks after graduating from college and has never left. Her teaching has led her into many different classroom environments, from inner-city outreach programs, to a university lab school, to the small independent school where she currently teaches.
Dr. Bentley received her Masters of Education from the Arts in Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her Doctorate of Education from the Art and Art Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. During her time at Teachers College she had the opportunity to teach and study at the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, an innovative early childhood center that educates children as well as preservice teachers in the practices of emergent, child-centered pedagogy. While teaching there, Dr. Bentley established an arts program in which the infants, toddlers, and preschoolers had the opportunity to share their art and words through art shows at a Manhattan art gallery.
Dr. Bentley has authored a wide range of articles on the arts, pedagogy, and teacher research in the early childhood classroom such as: “Making Messes and Taking your Time: Art Making in Infancy”; “Fire Makers, Barnyards, and Prickly Forests: A Preschool Stroll Around the Block”; “‘Rights are the words to being fair’: Multicultural Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom”; “Welcoming the Mayhem, Being Found, and Making a ‘Big Story’: Tales of a Teacher Research Addict.” Most importantly, Dr. Bentley is a teacher of young children. She feels fortunate for the words and thoughts of the children who shape her way of looking at the world. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with a patient husband, an inquisitive son, and a loyal dog, all of whom contribute immeasurably to her work as a writer, teacher, and learner.