The HighScope Difference
We've been talking a lot about what makes HighScope different. As an organization,
there are three main things that make a difference in how we approach early childhood
education — Research. Application. Validation.
No single step in the HighScope process stands on its own — and our process never ends.
Our rigorous, ongoing qualification of our own materials ensures that HighScope offers the most
effective, substantive early childhood classroom products available today.
But there is more....
Many programs allow time for children to play/work on their own. HighScope is unique
in making sure there are also opportunities for children to plan their own activities
(planning is "choosing with intention") and reflect on what they have learned
(reflection is "remembering with analysis") during these times of the day. The
plan-do-review process is basic to the HighScope Curriculum because planning
and reflection are positively and significantly related to developmental progress
(Epstein, 1993, 2003).
In the HighScope Curriculum, shared control is central to how adults and children
interact. By shared control we mean offering a supportive climate where adults and
children share control of the learning environment. Adults balance the freedom
children need to explore with the limits children need to feel secure. The adults provide
materials and experiences that both build on children's interests and promote
learning. In a supportive climate, children initiate many of their own learning experiences.
Even when adults plan an activity, as for a small- or large-group time, they consider the
objects, actions, and ideas children are interested in. In a HighScope setting, adults
and children are partners throughout the day.
Theory to Practice
Teachers from every type of educational and personal background can master HighScope
with time, practice, and adequate support. Although many HighScope teachers have
associate's and bachelor's degrees, we have also trained teachers all over the world
who have had little formal education. In all these instances, teachers gained in knowledge
and delivered a successful program.
Active Learning for Children and Adults
Our methods of face-to-face training and interactive online training also set us apart
from other curriculum approaches. Research on adult training shows HighScope's
professional development strategies produce deeper understanding and real
change. These strategies include hands-on learning, opportunities to alternate
study with practice, and sharing and reflection among participants.
To find out more about the HighScope Difference and what it can do for your early childhood program, please browse the rest of our Web site, or call us at 734.485.2000.
Epstein, A. S. (1993), Training for quality: Improving early childhood programs through systematic inservice training. Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press
Epstein, A. S. (2003, September), How planning and reflection develop young children's thinking skills. Young Children, 58(5), 28-36.