Early Childhood Education

HighScope Educational Approach

Of all the various educational approaches today, deciding on an approach to pursue for your child can be a daunting task. LittleLearner strives to provide parents and teachers with all the pertinent information on all the latest developments and methodologies in Early Childhood Education.

HighScope is and Early Childhood Education approach that was developed in Ypsilanti, Michigan in the late 60s. The approach is state specific although it has now spread to other countries as interest in the theory has grown.

The philosophy of HighScope is based mainly on the original works of Jean Piaget and John Dewey. The theory incorporates modern-day findings in brain and cognitive-development related to young children. The curriculum draws on the work of development psychologist and educator Lev Vygosky and is built on a strategy of adult scaffolding that supports children at their current development level and helps them to build upon it. Like the Montessori approach to education, the philosophy is applied in a social setting where children have the opportunity to choose materials, ideas and people to interact within the projects they themselves initiate. Just as Maria Montessori believed that teachers should be what she coined as ‘directresses’, the High Scope approach believes also in the idea that adults working with young children must see themselves as facilitators and guides to the natural work of children in an educational setting.

Core Concepts of the HighScope Curriculum

Active Learning – Emphasizes active participatory learning. Direct hands-on approaches to learning with people, objects, events and idea are key pillars to the philosophy along with children having the freedom to choose their own activities and materials to work with.

A Carefully Prepared Environment – A classroom divided into well-defined areas of interest such as a playhouse, an art area, a block area, toy area, and other centers of possible child interests.

Daily Routine – Daily routines are important for children to learn how to organize time and activities. Daily routines are in plan-do-review, small and large group times, outside, transition, eating and resting times.

Plan-do-review – a key component of the philosophy, plan-to-do is an approach that aids children into planning their own time. Children to some extent plan what they wish to work on, whom they want to do it with and to go and do what they have scheduled for themselves.

Adult-child interaction – adults participate in play with children, converse and even function as partners with them to help encourage children’s strengths and to offer support and aid children’s own problem solving skills.