HighScope is an “active learning” educational approach. Active learners have direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, and events that encourage them to think, imagine, and problem-solve. In a climate of trust our children will construct an understanding of the world around them. They are permitted to make choices based on their desire to explore the environment with all their senses while teachers, caregivers, and parents offer physical, emotional, and intellectual support. In active learning settings, adults support and challenge children’s thinking with diverse materials thoughtful conversations, and nurturing interactions.
The primary infant and toddler daily routine components are arrival/departure, one or more group times, choice time, and outside time. Additionally, the day includes care-giving routines such as naptimes, mealtimes, and other forms of bodily care (diapering, using the toilet, washing, and dressing.) For some toddlers, planning and recalling are also introduced as components of the day. Transition times occur between each of the daily routine components. Following the same routine day after day will give our children the sense of security they need to be able to make choices and take risks, which will open the door to exciting learning opportunities. Our caregivers will follow the overall daily routine consistently while supporting the individualized daily routines of each child in our program. The adults will work to understand the individual temperaments of each child and assist with smooth transitions from one experience to the next. By understanding and valuing individual children’s interests, adults support active learning throughout the day.
The HighScope approach uses the same philosophy to support both classrooms adults and children. Adults actively learn about their children’s growth and development and bring their own interests and activities to the teaching team. Collaborating in this way with peers, parents, and community partners helps to continuously improve our program. Therefore, as we implement HighScope, remember that the quality of the process is also important to our goals. Enjoying the journey will ultimately help our children learn and grow!