Understanding the High Scope Approach: Early Years Education in Practice

Understanding the High Scope Approach: Early Years Education in Practice

Understanding the High Scope Approach: Early Years Education in Practice

Understanding the High Scope Approach: Early Years Education in Practice


Understanding the HighScope Approach is a much needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the HighScope Approach. It will enable the reader to analyse the essential elements of the HighScope Approach to early childhood and its relationship to quality early years practice.

Exploring all areas of the curriculum including the learning environment, plan-do-review, adult child interaction and assessment this book:

  • describes the key principles of the HighScope approach to early childhood with examples from HighScope settings;
  • provides students and practitioners with the relevant information about a key pedagogical influence on high quality early years practice in the United Kingdom;
  • highlights the key ideas that practitioners should consider when reviewing and reflecting on their own practice;
  • can be used as the basis for continuing professional development and action research

Written to support the work of all those in the field of early years education and childcare, this is a vital text for students, early years and childcare practitioners, teachers, early years professionals, children's centre professionals, lecturers, advisory teachers, head teachers and setting managers.


A personal perspective

Many children, families and practitioners have been touched by HighScope and describe the approach as inspirational. I first came across HighScope in 1989 whilst on my social work training. As the head of an inner London children’s centre at that time, I was all too aware of the variations in practice within my own setting, let alone across the country, and found that HighScope gives a coherent, co-ordinated curriculum of best practice for staff teams to work with, using a common language and way of working. I especially liked the practical focus, with lots of ideas to take away and try out, and the emphasis on the process and how to support children’s learning, which then leads naturally to what we want young children to learn. With a clear reason behind every element of the approach, I was inspired and began my HighScope journey to find out more. I attended a two-day introductory course run by Pam Lafferty at the Institute. This led to me attending the sixth Training of Trainers Course, and so through to training as a HighScope Staff Consultant myself in 2001.

Background to the UK interest in the HighScope approach

HighScope is one of the key pedagogical approaches to early childhood education that has strongly influenced early years principles and practice in the UK. Based on a central belief in active learning, it was ‘cutting edge’ in 1984 when the first HighScope pilot project took place in the UK. From . . .

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