Active Learning with High/Scope

The High/Scope Curriculum is a complete system of early childhood education which focuses on the five dimensions of school readiness, identified by the National Education Goals Panel, and widely accepted as the standard in the early childhood community. Those five dimensions include: approaches to learning; language, literacy, and communication; social and emotional development; physical development, health and well‐being; and arts and sciences.

In a High/Scope setting, learning is not simply a process of adults giving information to children; rather children participate actively in the learning process through play. High/Scope teachers thoughtfully provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that both support and challenge what children are observing and thinking.

High/Scope provides an “open framework”, and teachers can adapt activities to the special needs and conditions of their class. The central tenet of the High/Scope Curriculum is “active learning” – the belief that children learn best through active experiences with people, materials, events, and ideas rather than through direct teaching or sequenced exercises.

Adult-child interaction is an integral component of the High/Scope Curriculum.  In the High/Scope curriculum, children and adults share control and teachers follow the children’s interests.  Children learn best when pursuing their own interests and goals, therefore, students are encouraged to make choices about materials and activities for much of the day.  Within this environment, they explore and discover, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and interact with classmates and adults.

Children learn to make the connection between their thought processes and their actions by participating in the Plan-Do-Review Sequence.  The heart of the High/Scope daily routine is the plan‐do‐review sequence, in which children make choices about what they will do, carry out their ideas, and reflect on their activities with adults and peers. We call these parts of the day planning time, work time, and recall time. By participating in the plan‐do‐review process, children gain confidence as thinkers, problem‐solvers, and decision makers. They learn how to act with intention and reflect on the consequences of their actions. These are abilities that will serve them well in school and throughout their lives.

As a natural outcome, they engage in “Key Experiences” (High/Scope Educational Research Foundation).  These key experiences are grouped into 10 categories and provide the basis for the God’s Garden preschool skill objectives and assessment.

Key Experiences

  • Creative Representation
  • Language, Literacy & Reasoning
  • Initiative and Social Relations
  • Movement
  • Music
  • Classification
  • Seriation
  • Number
  • Space
  • Time
Daisy 2

Core Learning Centers

Using the High/Scope Curriculum, the space and materials at God’s Garden are carefully selected and organized to promote active learning. Supplies are frequently rotated and are arranged to allow for independent access and clean-up. The classrooms are divided into the following activity-specific core learning centers:

  • Fine Motor/Puzzles
  • Art
  • Music/Movement
  • Blocks/Toys
  • Sensory Table
  • Dramatic Play
  • Nature/Science
  • Math
  • Writing
  • Reading