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Any experience with the High Scope preschool curriculum?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Our daughter is on the wait list for a local preschool that uses the High Scope curriculum. We're also looking into a Montessori preschool.

She just turned 4, and this will be her first year of preK.

I've found lots of discussion about Montessori.

Anyone have experience with the High Scope method?

Thank you!
post #2 of 8
http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=63

Well, I believe it came out of the Perry Project work. I haven't seen it in a long time- it seemed o.k. but not my favorite. Honestly, if the preschool is required to have "outcomes" then high scope, would fit the bill while also being learner centered, play based.

Wish I could be of more help- been over 4 years since I researched curriculum.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I appreciate your reply - I did read the information on the link, and that give me a better idea.
post #4 of 8
I have worked with both montessori based and high scope based programs. Do you have any specific questions I can answer?
post #5 of 8
My son went to a school with the High Scope curriculum for about 1/2 a year (we moved). We really liked the school, but I don't know that I could answer questions about the curriculum.

Catherine
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pammysue View Post
I have worked with both montessori based and high scope based programs. Do you have any specific questions I can answer?
Hmm. My experience with the educational system in general is only based on my own schooling growing up. That, I suppose, makes it hard for me to come up with specific questions. I think the main thing I'm trying to figure out is how "mainstream" the school would be.

To give you somewhat of an idea of what we'd like in a preschool - we've talked seriously about homeschooling our children, and Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and unit based approaches all seemed agreeable (though all are different, I realize).

From what I've read, both the High Scope curriculum and the Montessori method emphasize child directed learning. This I like very much. Any other pros or cons you could mention? I think Montessori is going to be too expensive, and we're going to have to stick with High Scope if there's a spot.

Thank you so much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by crl View Post
My son went to a school with the High Scope curriculum for about 1/2 a year (we moved). We really liked the school, but I don't know that I could answer questions about the curriculum.

Catherine
It helps to know you really liked it - thank you!
post #7 of 8
I taught preschool using High/Scope curriculum for the past four years, in a preschool housed in a public school. I moved to first grade this year, and I am really missing the High/Scope methods! (I found your forum thread by searching "high/scope.") With High/Scope, it's all about child-directed learning. I (the teacher) provide the learning environment, including materials and routines and even what I say and do in response to your actions. You (the child) get to choose how you will use the materials, what area of the classroom you wish to work in, etc.

One thing parents tend to find fascinating is the method of conflict resolution. In a perfect High/Scope classroom, no one would ever be "in trouble!" For example, Suzy takes a toy away from Jane. I rush in, ask what the problem is, and each child gets a turn to tell me what happened. I then restate the problem: "So, the problem is, Jane wants to play with this toy, and Suzy wants to play with this toy." Oh, and by the way, I am holding the toy while we talk about this! "Wow, that is a problem, because there is only one toy. What could we do about this?" The kids get to come up with ideas, and we are looking for an idea that is okay with both kids. If no one has an idea, I might say, "Hmm, do you want to hear my idea?" But whether it is my idea or theirs, I will ask, "Suzy, would that work for you? Jane, would that work for you?" If I have to keep the toy for the next two hours, and revisit the kids every few minutes, I will. The fascinating thing is, by the end of the school year, I will hear these little conflict resolutions happening without me! It's counter-intuitive to most adults to not "enforce and punish," but if we stick with it, conflict resolution is much better at teaching kids how to make good choices.

You mentioned homeschooling. I have to admit, I'm a closet homeschooling junky! I imagine that when I have kids, I will homeschool. Teaching with the High/Scope methods definitely satisfied the "inner homeschooler!" I was free to focus on each child as an individual. I had 3- and 4-year-olds, so each year I started with little baby 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds who had never been in preschool before, and 4-year-olds who were returning to me for a second year of preschool. I loved the diversity of development, and I never found it overwhelming or impossible to teach each child. I feel that the High/Scope methods make it so natural to address each child where they are, even if there are many children.

I have not worked with Montessori methods, though I remember a little of what I learned about them in college. But, I don't feel I know enough about Montessori to make fair comparisons between the two. I love High/Scope! If you have any other questions, I'll do my best to answer them!

Question...why not "homeschool" for preschool? Have you considered it? Is it a possibility in your family situation?
post #8 of 8

Dawn, I too have experience with the High Scope curriculum, but only for toddlers. I used Beautiful Beginnings, which focused on 8 key experiences: social/emotional/sensory/creative communication/movement/sense of self/musicEQN/ Space/Time. I will be homeschooling a 4 year old this Fall and am wondering if you could provide a list of the resources needed to successfully teach him within the High Scope spectra. Small group/large group activities aren't necessary since it will be just one child, so that eliminates several resources right there. I'm looking for direction in lesson planning. Thanks so much for your time!

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