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The Curriculum

High / Scope Pre-school Curriculum

The High/Scope Preschool Curriculum is derived from Piagetian theory. The curriculum originated from one of the first early childhood intervention programs of the 1960s, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, and was further developed with funding as a demonstration project in the First Chance Network for handicapped preschoolers. Through designated key experiences for children, teaching and parenting strategies, and child-observation materials, the curriculum provides a decision-making framework. Within this framework, teachers design a classroom program that reflects the expressed needs and interests of the children being served. This approach emphasizes the identification of the child's status on a developmental continuum by examining his/her strengths and accomplishments. The project views discrepancies in behavior between disabled and non-disabled age peers as developmental delays, not as deficiencies. Basing their tasks on this orientation, teachers initiate developmentally appropriate experiences in the classroom that reflect the basic long-range goals of the project. These goals are to develop children's ability to use a variety of skills in the arts and physical movement; to develop their knowledge of objects as a base of educational concept; to develop their ability to speak, dramatize, and graphically represent their experiences and communicate these experiences to other children and adults; to develop their ability to work with others, make decisions about what to do and how to do it, and plan their use of time and energy; and to develop their ability to apply their newly acquired reasoning capacity in a wide range of naturally occurring situations and with a variety of materials. The plan-do-review sequence encourages children to achieve these goals by involving them in decision-making and problem-solving situations throughout the day. The teacher's role is to support the children's decisions and encourage them to extend learning beyond the original plan. Similarly, teachers rely on a basic room arrangement and daily routine designed to stimulate and support active learning.


Broad goals of the program include:

  • Preparing children for kindergarten.
  • Creating an atmosphere where children can become independent learners.
  • Challenging children to develop a sense of self-worth, a spirit of discovery and inquiry, and an enthusiasm for learning.

In addition to the broad goals used to facilitate young children’s development, key experiences occur most often in active learning situations in which children have opportunities to make choices and decisions, and receive appropriate adult support and guidance. The key experiences are as follows: initiative and social relations, creative representation, language and literacy, classification, seriation, number, space, time, movement, and music.

In implementing the High/Scope Curriculum the teachers focus on the following goals:
  1. Develop each child’s ability to make choices and decisions about what to do and how to do it using his or her own time and energy effectively.
  2. Develop each child’s self-discipline and ability to identify, pursue, and complete goals and tasks with originality and responsibility.
  3. Develop each child’s ability to work with other children and adults in-group planning, cooperative efforts, and with shared leadership.
  4. Develop each child’s knowledge of objects, skills in the arts and comfort with physical movement.
  5. Develop each child’s ability to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings; to speak about, dramatize and graphically represent experiences in order to communicate them to others.
  6. Develop each child’s ability to comprehend other’s spoken, written, dramatic, and graphic representations.
  7. Develop each child’s ability to apply his or her reasoning abilities to a wide range of situations, using a variety of materials.
  8. Develop each child’s creativity, initiative, spirit of inquiry, and openness to knowledge and other people’s viewpoints.

The entire program is planned in such a way that each child can use his natural curiosity and enthusiasm to learn. In addition to the High/Scope key experiences, Developmentally Appropriate Practices will be employed, as well as other strategies and approaches to accommodate a variety of learning styles.

Grouping / Classroom Organization

Children will be divided into groupings that reflect a learning community. Children will learn to work with others, developing mutual respect and cooperative learning. Continuous monitoring of each child’s progress will identify the need for individual instruction.

Instructional Approach

A variety of developmentally appropriate approaches will be used, based on what we know about the growth and development of young children and the learning process. Among the approaches are local traditions, learning areas, peer teaching, and hands-on / activity-oriented experiences, and the High/Scope Curriculum framework.

Learning Areas
  • House Area
  • Books / Computer Area
  • Toy Area
  • Block Area
  • Art Area