About Us

About Us

The HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization, established in 1970, with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The Foundation’s principal goals are to promote the learning and development of children worldwide and provide professional development to educators and parents as they help children learn. The HighScope approach to early childhood education not only helps young children excel in language and cognitive learning but also promotes independence, curiosity, decision making, cooperation, persistence, creativity, and problem solving — the fundamental skills that help determine success in adult life.

HighScope is well-known for the influential HighScope Perry Preschool Study, which first established the lasting human and financial value of high-quality early childhood education for children in poverty. (For more information, visit highscope.org). The cornerstone of the play-based HighScope approach is active learning, through which young children construct knowledge as they engage with materials, people, events, and ideas. When children are actively learning, they interact with the world to build their own facts, information, and skills.

Features of the HighScope Approach

Plan-Do-Review: HighScope’s unique plan-do-review sequence is a regular yet flexible daily event in which children plan their own activities, carry them out, and reflect on what they did and learned. Plan-do-review strengthens skills children’s problem solving skills, self-control, and memory.

Learning Environment: A predictable and engaging classroom includes a variety of open-ended materials. Classrooms are organized and materials are labeled so children learn important concepts while working independently.

Problem Solving: In the HighScope classroom, children learn to resolve conflicts with others using the Six Steps in Conflict Mediation and receive guidance from teachers who take the lead in supporting children as they learn to solve problems by themselves.

Connecting Home and School: HighScope respects the family as the child’s first teacher. HighScope teachers Build strong connections with families; partner with families to support children’s learning through home visits and parent- teacher conferences; help family members extend learning to home through parent meetings and the Family Network, a parent website; and share their observations about children’s development with parents and discuss ways to work together to achieve common goals.

Diversity: Children from diverse backgrounds, including English language learners and those with special needs, develop a positive self-identity and appreciation and respect for the uniqueness of others.

HighScope Preschool Curriculum

The HighScope Preschool Curriculum is play-based and supports the school readiness goals of the National Education Goals Panel. HighScope recognizes eight content areas:

  • Approaches to Learning
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development and Health
  • Language, Literacy, and Communication
  • Mathematics
  • Creative Arts
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies

In the HighScope Preschool Curriculum, learning in these eight areas is guided by 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs) that meet all state standards. Each KDI is linked to one of the dimensions of school readiness, and each is a statement that identifies an observable child behavior reflecting knowledge and skills in those areas. The KDIs define the kind of knowledge young children gain as they interact with materials, people, ideas, and events. Supportive adults use the KDIs to set learning goals and gently extend learning when children are ready.

The HighScope Curriculum is aligned with Common Core State Standards, the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework and Early Head Start Essential Domains, state early childhood learning standards, and the standards and recommendations of the early childhood community, including NAEYC.