All About HighScope
We receive many inquiries each week, either through our Web site or e-mail address, asking about High/Scope Foundation "basics." Even persons who know about High/Scope in one context, such as research, are curious and even surprised to learn about our other activities, for example, staff training or publishing. But the majority of queries concern the how's and why's of the High/Scope early childhood educational approach. That's why we've put together the following list of questions and answers, starting off with a brief summary of how we got started and all that we do and then highlighting the major components of how we approach educating young children.
What is the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation?
The High/Scope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization, established in 1970 with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Foundation promotes the development of children and youth worldwide and supports educators and parents as they help children learn. High/Scope engages in the following activities:
- Develops curricula (instructional programs, professional development programs, and assessment instruments)
- Trains teachers, caregivers, and youth workers
- Conducts research in education and interprets and publishes what it discovers
- Publicly supports programs and policies that benefit children and youth
- Publishes educational books, videotapes, and other materials
What is the High/Scope educational approach?
High/Scope is an "active learning" educational approach. Active learning means students have direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children's interests and choices are at the heart of High/Scope programs. They construct their own knowledge through interactions with the world and the people around them. Children take the first step in the learning process by making choices and following through on their plans and decisions. Teachers, caregivers, and parents offer physical, emotional, and intellectual support. In active learning settings, adults expand children's thinking with diverse materials and nurturing interactions.
How does the High/Scope approach differ from other early childhood programs?
The High/Scope educational approach is consistent with the best practices recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Head Start Performance Standards, and other guidelines for developmentally based programs. Within this broad framework, however, High/Scope has unique features that differentiate it from other early childhood programs. One is the daily plan-do-review sequence. Research shows that planning and reviewing are the two components of the program day most positively and significantly associated with children's scores on measures of developmental progress. The second feature is the 58 High/Scope preschool key experiences which define the content areas of the preschool curriculum. These are the social, intellectual, and physical experiences that are essential to young children's optimal growth. The key experiences are organized into ten content areas that comprise social development (initiative and social relations), visual and performing arts (creative representation, movement, and music), reading (language and literacy), and math and science (number, classification, seriation, space, and time). High/Scope teachers keep these key experiences in mind when they set up the environment and plan activities to encourage learning and social interaction. They also form the basis of High/Scope's child assessment tool-the High/Scope Preschool Child Observation Record (COR).
Reprinted with the permission of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation. © 2007 All rights reserved.
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