High/Scope Preschool Curriculum
Based on the child development ideas of Jean Piaget, the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum views children as active learners, who learn best from activities that they themselves plan, carry out, and reflect upon. The children are encouraged to engage in a variety of key experiences that help them to make choices, solve problems, and actively contribute to their own development.
Approved by JDRP/PEP for preschool children of all abilities.
The High/Scope Preschool Curriculum is an open-framework model derived from Piagetian theory. The curriculum originated from one of the first early childhood intervention programs of the 1960s, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, and was further developed with funding as a demonstration project in the First Chance Network for handicapped preschoolers. Through designated key experiences for children, teaching and parenting strategies, and child-observation materials, the curriculum provides a decision-making framework. Within this framework, teachers design a classroom program that reflects the expressed needs and interests of the children being served. This approach emphasizes the identification of the child's status on a developmental continuum by examining his/her strengths and accomplishments. The project views discrepancies in behavior between disabled and nondisabled age peers as developmental delays, not as deficiencies. Basing their tasks on this orientation, teachers initiate developmentally appropriate experiences in the classroom that reflect the basic long-range goals of the project. These goals are to develop children's ability to use a variety of skills in the arts and physical movement; to develop their knowledge of objects as a base of educational concept; to develop their ability to speak, dramatize, and graphically represent their experiences and communicate these experiences to other children and adults; to develop their ability to work with others, make decisions about what to do and how to do it, and plan their use of time and energy; and to develop their ability to apply their newly acquired reasoning capacity in a wide range of naturally occurring situations and with a variety of materials. The plan-do-review sequence encourages children to achieve these goals by involving them in decision-making and problem-solving situations throughout the day. The teacher's role is to support the children's decisions and encourage them to extend learning beyond the original plan. Similarly, teachers rely on a basic room arrangement and daily routine designed to stimulate and support active learning.
Evidence of Effectiveness
Preschool programs using the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum have produced evidence that they improve children's school success, later socioeconomic success, and social responsibility. As compared to teacher-directed instruction, the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum has also been shown to lead to significantly lower rates of delinquency.
The model can be used in individual classrooms as well as entire programs. Inservice training for teaching teams and program administrators is strongly recommended.
The costs for program implementation vary depending upon the number of teaching teams and children involved. However, the approximate cost per child for the initial year of implementation is $260 for personnel training and $195 for materials. Travel costs for the trainer are additional. Costs for the second and subsequent years also vary, but typically do not exceed $60/child. Cost calculations assume that the curriculum is being adopted by an existing program; personnel and facility costs for the classroom are not taken into account.
Awareness materials are available at no cost. Visitors are welcome at the project site by appointment. Project staff are available to participate in out-of-state awareness meetings (fees and expenses to be negotiated). Curriculum workshops can be arranged as follow-up to awareness sessions at local sites (fees and expenses to be negotiated). Training is provided at the project site (fees and expenses must be paid). Additional inservice activities are also available.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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