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  1. #1
    SgtMom
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    Question High/Scope Preschool Philosophy

    Has anyone ever heard of High/Scope. I found a wonderful preschool today and they employ that philosophy. The director told me is it in between Play and Montessori on the Structure Factor. Her website did include some more info, but I wonder if anyone has any personal experience with this philosophy.

    Thanks,
    Kate
    Married almost 9 years, together 11 years

    IF issues - too many; tx- lots

    Amazing 5yo daughter through the gift of domestic adoption!

    Me: 43, ex-cop Dh: 56, computer guy

    DD: 5, future diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium


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  3. #2
    JoanneNY
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    Never heard of it. Is it a chain of schools throughout the country that has a specific philosophy? Are the teachers educated differently than those in mainstream pre-schools? Sounds interesting - I'd love to see the website.
    Joanne
    Dylan ~ 9 years old and his ^i^ twin
    ^i^ 3/03


    "All great ideas were crazy before they were brilliant."


  4. #3
    SgtMom
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    More Info

    By Ann S. Epstein, Ph.D., Director, Early Childhood Programs

    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 hows and whys 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. The Foundation's mission is to lift lives through education. 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 Curriculum?

    High/Scope's educational approach emphasizes “active participatory learning.” 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.

    A second unique feature is our curriculum content, the social, intellectual, and physical building blocks that are essential to young children’s optimal growth. To organize the content of children's learning, the High/Scope Curriculum parallels the five dimensions of school readiness identified by the National Education Goals Panel. These five categories are (1) approaches to learning; (2) language, literacy, and communication; (3) social and emotional development; (4) physical development, health, and well-being; and (5) arts and sciences. High/Scope has further divided the arts and sciences categories into the subjects of mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and the arts.

    Within these preschool content areas are 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs), formerly called key experiences. The KDIs are statements of observable behaviors that define the important learning areas for young children. High/Scope teachers keep these indicators 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 Preschool Child Observation Record (COR).

    What are High/Scope’s goals for young children?

    High/Scope is a comprehensive educational approach that strives to help children develop in all areas. Our goals for young children are:

    • To learn through active involvement with people, materials, events, and ideas
    • To become independent, responsible, and confident — ready for school and ready for life
    • To learn to plan many of their own activities, carry them out, and talk with others about what they have done and what they have learned
    • To gain knowledge and skills in important academic, social, and physical areas
    High/Scope provides children with carefully planned experiences in reading, mathematics, and science. For example, the High/Scope Early Childhood Reading Institute ensures that early learning and staff development in the area of literacy are compatible with the latest findings from research and practice. Our key developmental indicators in mathematics and our Preschool COR assessment items are aligned with the early childhood standards of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

    Social development is another important learning area in High/Scope programs. Studies continually demonstrate that children in High/Scope classrooms show high levels of initiative. Teachers further support social development by helping children learn how to resolve interpersonal conflicts. The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development stresses that all these areas of academic and socioemotional growth are essential for school readiness.

    What is the evidence that the High/Scope approach works?

    Almost 40 years of research shows that High/Scope programs advance the development of children and improve their chance of living a better life through adulthood. National research with children from different backgrounds has shown that those who attend High/Scope programs score higher on measures of development than similar children enrolled in other preschool and child care programs. The Foundation is perhaps best known for the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project study, which compared low-income children who attended our program with those who did not. As adults, preschool participants had higher high school graduation rates, higher monthly earnings, less use of welfare, and fewer arrests than those without the program. In addition to benefiting the individuals who attended preschool, these results show that preschool leads to savings for taxpayers: for every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education, society saves $13 in the cost of special education, public assistance, unemployment benefits, and crime. Research also shows that High/Scope training with teachers and caregivers is highly effective. In a national study, teachers with High/Scope training had higher quality programs than did similar teachers without such training. Higher quality programs were in turn linked to better developmental outcomes for children.

    Who uses High/Scope?

    The High/Scope approach serves the full range of children and families from all social, financial, and ethnic backgrounds. The approach is used in public and private agencies, half- and full-day preschools, Head Start programs, public school prekindergarten programs, child care centers, home-based child care programs, and programs for children with special needs. The High/Scope approach for grades K–5 is used in school districts around the country and is approved as a Comprehensive School Reform model. In addition to the programs throughout the United States using High/Scope, High/Scope Institutes operate in Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Africa, Singapore, Korea, and Indonesia.

    What do teachers and other adults do in a High/Scope program?

    In High/Scope programs, adults are as active in the learning process as children. A mutual give-and-take relationship exists in which both groups participate as leaders and followers, speakers and listeners. Adults interact with children by sharing control with them, focusing on their strengths, forming genuine relationships with them, supporting their play ideas, and helping them resolve conflicts. Adults participate as partners in children’s activities rather than as supervisors or managers. They respect children and their choices, and encourage initiative, independence, and creativity. Because adults are well trained in child development, they provide materials and plan experiences that children need to grow and learn.

    What does a High/Scope program setting look like?

    The space and materials in a High/Scope setting are carefully chosen and arranged to promote active learning. Although we do not endorse specific types or brands of toys and equipment, High/Scope does provide general guidelines for selecting materials that are meaningful and interesting to children. The learning environment in High/Scope programs has the following characteristics:
    • Is welcoming to children
    • Provides enough materials for all the children
    • Allows children to find, use, and return materials independently
    • Encourages different types of play and learning
    • Allows the children to see and easily move through all the areas of the classroom or center
    • Is flexible so children can extend their play by bringing materials from one area to another
    • Provides materials that reflect the diversity of children’s family lives
    What happens each day in a High/Scope classroom?

    High/Scope classrooms follow a predictable sequence of events known as the daily routine. This provides a structure within which children can make choices, follow their interests, and develop their abilities in each content area. While each High/Scope program decides on the routine that works best for its setting, schedule, and population, the following segments are always included during the program day.

    Plan-do-review time. This three-part sequence is unique to the High/Scope approach. It includes a 10–15-minute small-group time during which children plan what they want to do during work time (the area to visit, materials to use, and friends to play with); a 45–60-minute work time for carrying out their plans; and another 10–15-minute small-group time for reviewing and recalling with an adult and other children what they’ve done and learned. In between “do” and “review,” children clean up by putting away their materials or storing unfinished projects. Generally, the older the children, the longer and more detailed their planning and review times become. Children are very active and purposeful during “do” time because they are pursuing activities that interest them. They may follow their initial plans, but often, as they become engaged, their plans shift or may even change completely.

    Small-group time. During this time a small group of ideally 6–8 children meet with an adult to experiment with materials and solve problems. Although adults choose a small-group activity to emphasize one or more particular content areas, children are free to use the materials in any way they want during this time. The length of small group varies with the age, interests, and attention span of the children. At the end of the period, children help with cleanup.

    Large-group time. Large-group time builds a sense of community. Up to 20 children and 2 adults come together for movement and music activities, storytelling, and other shared experiences. Children have many opportunities to make choices and play the role of leader.

    Outside time. Children and adults spend at least 30 minutes outside every day, enjoying vigorous and often noisy play in the fresh air. Without the constraints of four walls, they feel freer to make large movements and experiment with the full range of their voices. Children run, climb, swing, roll, jump, yell, and sing with energy. They experience the wonders of nature, including collecting, gardening, and examining wildlife. During extreme weather or other unsafe conditions, teachers find an alternative indoor location for large-motor activity.

    Transition times. Transitions are the minutes between other blocks of the day, as well as arrival and departure times. Our goal is to make transitions pass smoothly since they set the stage for the next segment in the day’s schedule. They also provide meaningful learning opportunities themselves. Whenever possible, we give children choices about how to make the transition. For example, they may choose how to move across the floor on their way to small-group time. With a consistent daily routine children know what is going to take place next, and it is not unusual for them to announce the next activity and initiate the transition.

    Eating and resting times. Meals and snacks allow children to enjoy eating healthy food in a supportive social setting. Rest is for quiet, solitary activities. Since both activities happen at home as well as school, we try to respect family customs at these times as much as possible. Our main goal is to create a shared and secure sense of community within the program.

    How does High/Scope help children learn how to resolve conflicts?

    Conflict is inevitable during the course of children’s play, whenever they become frustrated or angry. This does not mean children are bad, selfish, or mean. They simply have not yet learned how to interpret social cues, understand other viewpoints, or match their behavior to the situation. To help children learn how to work out their disagreements together, High/Scope teachers are trained to use a six-step process to solve problems and resolve conflicts:

    1. Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions or language — A calm manner reassures children that things are under control and can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.

    2. Acknowledge feelings — Children need to express their feelings before they can let go of them and think about possible solutions to the problem.

    3. Gather information — Adults are careful not to make assumptions or takes sides. We ask open-ended questions to help children describe what happened in their own words.

    4. Restate the problem — Using the information provided by the children, the adult restates the problem, using clear and simple terms and, if necessary, rephrasing hurtful words.

    5. Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together — Adults encourage children to suggest solutions, helping to put them in practical and concrete terms. We accept their ideas, rather than impose our own, thus giving children the satisfaction of having solved the problem.

    6. Give follow-up support as needed — Adults help children begin to carry out their solution, making sure that no one remains upset. If necessary, we repeat one or more steps until all the children return to their play.
    Married almost 9 years, together 11 years

    IF issues - too many; tx- lots

    Amazing 5yo daughter through the gift of domestic adoption!

    Me: 43, ex-cop Dh: 56, computer guy

    DD: 5, future diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium


  5. #4
    SgtMom
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    When I visited the local school, it did not seem as structured as indicated in the article, but did share many qualities. At arrival time kids play for a while on the playground. Then they come in and plan their worktime. For 2yo they just try to get them to verbalize what they plan to do. For 3yo, they have a photo of themselves which they place on the station where they want to work - for example painting. I suppose they have a review mtg but she didnt mention it. They have a group activity each day and there is a calendar of them for April - they all seem to involve reading, music or art & a specific topic (such as different body parts) or book. On Friday they have share day wherein they bring in something from home to share, so that should help her language skills. Of course the whole preschool experience we hope will help her language skills since she started speech therapy today for a mild delay. They have snack periods and lunch period which take place in a main room, so the ages sorta mix. They do have an additional playground period each day so up to 1.5 hours outside. The playground is on a busy street (not great) but it is fenced well.

    The 2yo room is not huge (doesnt need to be) and it has TONS of natural light. The windows have wooden guards but that doesnt keep toys from ending up in the parking lot below So they do open the windows and also have central air/heat if need be. The playground has a brand new redwood set and a new sandbox. The school is under new ownership so they are still building enrollment - this is good as the 2yo class is not bursting with kids. The 2yo teacher seemed very nice and they were not at all perterbed that we walked in in the middle of lunch without an appt. In fact the director, who has her children there, spent almost an hour with me. The director and each teacher have 10+ years of experience. She said we can do an observation and/or we can do a test day where I stay on the premises out of dds site. Today I took dd to a tot play studio and she did so well on her own that I think she can handle preschool. But I want to obseve her at this school and at the Montessori school where I did an observation (without dd) a couple weeks ago. I will admit that overall I am leaning toward the High Scope school over the Montessori but dd might have a totally different experience. I will try to fit that in next week and let you know how it goes.

    Take care,
    Kate
    Last edited by SgtMom; 04-09-2008 at 01:18 AM.
    Married almost 9 years, together 11 years

    IF issues - too many; tx- lots

    Amazing 5yo daughter through the gift of domestic adoption!

    Me: 43, ex-cop Dh: 56, computer guy

    DD: 5, future diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium


  6. #5
    ms_sea
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    I have taught high/scope and I didnt mind it.....its core is plan do and review....kids plan what "work" they plan to do....do it and then at the end of the "work" time they review what they did. I always thought of it as play with purpose!!

    It is a bit of an outdated curriculum. The new buzz in preschool curriculum in Creative Curriculum, which IMHO, isnt much different, just newer and has more research behind it.
    Not sure I was any help...but the most important part is that the kids spend most of their time playing...that is how young children learn best. Teachers who care and spend time talking to the kids is in my opinion the most important component to an early childhood classroom.
    Good luck....and trust your instinct.....
    Tracy
    Tracy
    me 39 dh 35
    2/2000, 3/2003
    Claire Ann b/d 9/27/05 Trisomy18
    12/2006


  7. #6
    SgtMom
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    Tracy,

    Thanks for responding. I will look up Creative Cirriculum just out of curiosity now I emailed someone in the local mom's club who had her ds at this particular school. She thought the teachers were very good with the kids and have tons of experience.

    She was also concerned about the traffic on the street but unfortunately most schools are on busy streets. And the fence seems sufficient to keep them in and (hopefully) the cars out - also its a solid wood fence which is better than a chain link fence IMO. This other mom liked the concept of cameras but could not access it at home since she has a Mac computer but her dh could access it at work on his PC. We have PCs at home and at dhs work so we should both be able to see what dd is doing at any given time. They had enough cameras to capture every room and the playground. My big concern is how she will react to being left there for several hours since she has never been in any type of outside care and she just turned two about a month ago. I am thinking of doing an observation where she participates and I watch. And I think we would still have the option of her participating while I hang out in the directors ofc (which has all the camera angles on a monitor) for another day.

    I think she will ultimately do very well and it will help to build her language and social skills so we are excited about it. Any other advice for us on how to ease the transition? The Director suggested we do all 5 days the first week so dd is not confused on the off days, but I am not sure she is ready for that, so maybe WTHF the first week? Then go to a regular MWF schedule, which is our goal. She will have speech therapy on Tuesdays for the next 6mos and we need Thursday for fun/pool time. Now that we are well into April, I dont think we would start a regular schedule until May and we still want to do an obs with dd at the local Montessori school too. I think anyway - they seem to have a lot of playtime and dont really use too many Mont concepts other than respect for others, personal responsiblity (during cleanup, etc.). Do you have an op on the Mont philosophy?

    Thanks,
    Kate
    Married almost 9 years, together 11 years

    IF issues - too many; tx- lots

    Amazing 5yo daughter through the gift of domestic adoption!

    Me: 43, ex-cop Dh: 56, computer guy

    DD: 5, future diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium


  8. #7
    rubinca
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    highscope

    ofcourse one of the best curriculum aproaches and children develop so well in that environment.


  9. #8
    rubinca
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    i am a certified highscope trainer myself, and i see it everyday.


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