Preschool classrooms in the Regional Preschool Partnership implement the research-based, active learning HighScope curriculum. “Curriculum” encompasses the full range of a child’s experience at school. The HighScope curriculum is comprehensive and child-focused, with an appropriate balance of child-initiated activities and adult-guided active learning.
The HighScope curriculum is backed by 50 years of research. It enhances school readiness by promoting independence, creative thinking, decision making, and problem solving. The cornerstones of an effective HighScope classroom are active participatory learning, adult-child interaction, classroom learning environment and materials, daily routine, and ongoing, authentic child assessment. HighScope’s curriculum content areas are:
- Approaches to learning
- Social and emotional development
- Physical development and health
- Language, literacy, and communication
- Creative arts
- Science and technology
- Social studies
Learning in these eight areas is guided by 58 key developmental indicators (KDIs), which are observable child behaviors that reflect developing physical, emotional, social, and mental abilities. Teachers use intentional teaching methods to create active, engaging, and effective learning opportunities, supporting the development of the knowledge and skills identified by the KDIs.
Throughout each classroom session, highly-qualified teachers intentionally interact with children to build on their understanding and enhance learning. Play and peer-to-peer interaction are vital to provide children with opportunities to engage in abstract thinking, develop self-regulation skills, problem-solving, and oral language skills.
The HighScope curriculum aligns with the Michigan Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten (ECSQ-PK), ensuring horizontal alignment among early learning expectations and preschool program standards, practice and assessment, as well as ensuring vertical alignment within Michigan’s early childhood and education system and with kindergarten through twelfth grade standards.