Preschool Educational Approach

Active Learning: Children are involved in direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, ideas, and events. While teachers share control and initiative with children, they are guided by 58 key experiences that all children need to have as part of their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.

Adult-Child Interaction: Adults observe and interact with children at their level to discover how each child thinks and reasons. Adults interact with children in ways that empower children to take control of their own learning.

Learning Environment: Classroom furniture and equipment are arranged n several clearly defined interest areas that enable children to find, use and return the materials they need in order to explore, invent, and learn about their world.

Open Framework Philosophy

High/Scope's preschool educational approach is an open framework that organizes the children's and teacher's environment, daily routine and interactions. The framework gives the teaching team a systematic method for planning, organizing and carrying out their preschool responsibilities. For the children, the framework provides a consistent and secure daily experience that promises interesting things to do attention by their teachers to their interest and needs, and a sense of control over themselves and their environment.

The framework is open because the experienced teachers plan for children foster independent thinking, initiative and creativity. Children's cognitive, social, emotional and physical capacities develop quickly when they can use materials and their imaginations freely in an environment that promotes investigation, decision-making, cooperation, persistence and problem-solving. The capacities that children develop in this open framework are broad abilities that children can and do use daily in the classroom as well as at home.

Language and Literacy

  • Talking with others about personally meaningful experiences
  • Describing objects, events, and relations
  • Having fun with language: Listening to stories and poems, making up stories and rhymes
  • Writing in various ways: drawing, scribbling, letter like forms, invented spelling, conventional forms
  • Reading in various ways: reading storybooks, signs, symbols, one's own writing
  • Dictating stories
Creative Representation
  • Recognizing objects by sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell
  • Imitating actions and sounds
  • Relating models, pictures, and photographs to real places and things
  • Pretending and role-playing
  • Making models out of clay, blocks, and other materials
  • Drawing and painting


  • Moving in nonlocomotor ways (anchored movement: bending, twisting, rocking, swinging one's arms)
  • Moving in locomotor ways ( non anchored movement: running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, climbing)
  • Moving with objects
  • Expressing creativity in movement
  • Describing movement
  • Acting upon movement directions
  • Feeling and expressing steady beat
  • Moving in sequences to a common beat

Initiative and Social Relations

  • Making and expressing choices, plans, and decisions
  • Solving problems encountered in play
  • Taking care of one's own needs
  • Expressing feelings in words
  • Participating in group routines
  • Being sensitive to the feelings, interests, and needs of others
  • Building relationships with children and adults
  • Creating and experiencing collaborative play
  • Dealing with social conflict


  • Exploring and describing similarities, differences and the attributes of things
  • Distinguishing and describing shapes
  • Sorting and matching
  • Using and describing something in several ways
  • Holding more than one attribute in mind at a time
  • Distinguishing between "some" and "all"
  • Describing characteristics something does not possess or what class it does not belong to


  • Moving to music
  • Exploring and identifying sounds
  • Exploring one's singing voice
  • Developing melody
  • Singing songs
  • Playing simple musical instruments


  • Comparing the numbers of things in two sets to determine "more," "fewer," "same amount"
  • Arranging two sets of objects in one to one correspondence
  • Counting objects


  • Comparing attributes (longer/shorter, bigger/smaller)
  • Arranging several things one after another in a series or pattern and describing the relationships (big/bigger/biggest, red/blue/red/blue)
  • Fitting one ordered set of objects to another through trial and error (small cup - small saucer /medium cup - medium saucer /big cup-big saucer)


  • Starting and stopping an action on signal
  • Experiencing and describing rates of movement
  • Experiencing and comparing time intervals
  • Anticipating, remembering and describing sequences of events


  • Filling and emptying
  • Fitting things together and taking them apart
  • Changing the shape and arrangement of objects (wrapping, twisting, stretching, stacking, enclosing)
  • Observing, people, things, and places from different spatial viewpoints
  • Experiencing and describing positions, directions and distances in the play space, building and neighborhood
  • Interpreting spatial relations in drawings, pictures, and photographs
High/Scope's Preschool Key Experiences

Daily Routine: Each day follows a similar schedule of events, providing consistency for both children and adults. A daily plan-do-review process is at the core of the High/Scope routine and gives children the opportunity to pursue their own interest, make plans, follow through on them. and reflect on their experiences with peers and adults.

Assessment: High/Scope teachers regularly record notes on children;s behaviors, experiences and interests. They use these notes to assess each child's development. They also use these notes in parent meetings to help parents better understand their children's development.