"High/Scope is an educational approach that organizes the environment, daily routine
and activities of children and adults through active learning. High/Scope structures
the environment, not the child. It sparks critical thinking, creativity and initiative
based on the child’s interests and needs. All of this is done through play which—contrary
to less informed beliefs—is the only way young children learn. Kathy knew this and
Certified High/Scope Trainer
Example of High/Scope Curriculum
A guiding principle of the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum is
the belief that young children are capable of making decisions and solving
problems about activities that are interesting to them personally.
Teachers then use these personal interests as the springboard for teaching the social
and academic concepts needed to be successful in this society.
High/Scope organizes these concepts around the notion of “key experiences”-- general
kinds of activities that exercise important abilities developing in preschoolers
include Initiative and Social Relations, Creative Representation, Classification
& Seriation, Spacial Relations, Language & Literacy, Music & Movement and Time
Key Experience: Time
For example, here is how High/Scope approaches the key experience of Time.
The limitations of preschoolers in understanding temporal relations are well
known to any adult who has ever attempted to get a young child to a scheduled
While the adult’s day is divided into minutes and hours, most preschoolers do not
understand precise time intervals. For the young child, time is a continuum loosely
organized in before/after sequences, in which an awareness of the present often
crowds out any thoughts of the past and the future.
Adults can help preschoolers mature in their understanding of time, not by
emphasizing formal time intervals, but by focusing on the sequence of past,
present, and future.
Encourage children to think about what they have done in the past and what they
plan to do in the future, and help them recognize the order in which events occur.
Ask them to think about and talk about how long it will take to do things. Introduce
conventional time units only when children are ready, and keep them simple; use
terms like morning, yesterday, and hour in contexts that they understand. Eventually,
you’ll want to help children recognize what clocks and calendars are used for, but
don’t emphasize them.
Keep the following key experiences in temporal relations in mind as you
spend time with your preschooler:
-stopping and starting an action on signal
-experiencing and describing different rates of speed
-experiencing and comparing time intervals
-observing seasonal changes
-observing that clocks and calendars are used to mark the
passage of time
-anticipating future events verbally and making
-planning and completing what one has planned
-describing and representing past events
-using conventional time units in talking about past and future
-noticing, describing, and representing the order of events
Major Long Term Study Proves Effectiveness of High/Scope
CBNews and Information (Reprint)
Press Releases OCTOBER 2004
Contact: Kathleen Woodard (734) 485-2000, ext. 255
Long-Term Study of Adults Who Received High-Quality Early Childhood Care and
Education Shows Economic and Social Gains, Less Crime
WASHINGTON, DC A landmark, long-term study of the effects of high-quality early
care and education on low-income three- and four-year-olds shows that adults at
age 40 who participated in a preschool program in their early years have higher
earnings, are more likely to hold a job, have committed fewer crimes, and are more
likely to have graduated from high school.
Overall, the study documented a return to society of more than a $17 for every tax
dollar invested in the early care and education program.
The High/Scope Perry Preschool study was conducted over 4 decades by the late David
P. Weikart, founder of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation; Larry Schweinhart,
High/Scope's current president; and their colleagues.
"These findings can be expected of any Head Start, state preschool, or child care
program similar to the program High/Scope coordinated and then studied,"
said Schweinhart. "Our teachers were well-qualified, they served no more than eight
children from low-income families at a time, they visited these families as part
of the program to discuss their child's development, and the classes operated daily
for children three and four years old."
What makes the study unique is that the children in the study were randomly assigned
either to receive the High/Scope Perry Preschool program or to receive
no comparable program and were then tracked throughout their lives to age 40. At
earlier stages, High/Scope Educational Research Foundation staff studied these
same groups of children every year from age 3 to age 11, and again at ages 14,
15, 19, and 27.
Among the study's major findings in the educational area are:
- More of the group who received high-quality early education graduated from high
than the non-program group (65% vs. 45%), particularly females (84% vs. 32%);
- Fewer females who received high-quality early education than non-program females
required treatment for mental impairment (8% vs. 36%) or had to repeat a grade (21%
vs. 41%); and
- The group who received high-quality early education on average outperformed The
non-program group on various intellectual and language tests during their early
childhood years, on school achievement tests between ages 9 and 14, and on literacy
tests at ages 19 and 27.
"The preschool program's long-term effects were due to its shorter-term effects
on children's educational commitment and success," said report coauthor Jeanne Montie,
senior research associate at the High/Scope Educational Research.
Weikart began the study in 1962 by identifying 123 young African American children
living in poverty and assessed to be at high risk of school failure in Ypsilanti,
The researchers randomly assigned 58 of the children to a
high-quality early care and education setting; the rest received no preschool
Among the study's major findings in the economic area are:
- More of the group who received high-quality early education than the non-program
group were employed at age 40 (76% vs. 62%);
- The group who received high-quality early education had median annual earnings more
than $5,000 higher than the non-program group ($20,800 vs. $15,300);
- More of the group who received high-quality early education owned their own homes;
- More of the group who received high-quality early education had a savings account
than the non-program group (76% vs. 50%).
In the High/Scope Perry Preschool program, children participated in their own education,
by planning, carrying out, and reviewing their own activities as part
of their learning experience.
One of the reviewers of the study, Nobel-Prize-winning University of Chicago economist
James J. Heckman, said,
"This report substantially bolsters the case for early interventions in disadvantaged
populations. More than 35 years after they received an enriched preschool program,
the Perry Preschool participants achieve much greater success in social and economic
life than their counterparts who are randomly denied treatment."
Among the study's major findings in the crime prevention area are:
- The group who received high-quality early education had significantly fewer arrests
than the non-program group (36% vs. 55% arrested five times or more); and
- Significantly fewer members of the group who received high-quality early care than
the non-program group were ever arrested for violent crimes (32% vs.48%), property
crimes (36% vs. 58%), or drug crimes (14% vs. 34%).
"This study proves that investing in high quality pre-kindergarten can make every
family in America safer from crime and violence. Law enforcement leaders know that
to win the war on crime, we need to be as willing to guarantee our kids space in
a pre-kindergarten program as we are to guarantee a criminal a prison cell," said
Sanford Newman, president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an anti-crime organization
made up of 2,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and victims of violence.
A complete report on this study, Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool
Study Through Age 40*, is now available from High/Scope Press.