Elementary Education: High Scope Approach at V.C.A: Elementary
The principles of the High/Scope educational model — with its emphasis on children as active learners — differ from those of the traditional K–8 teacher-directed instructional approach. High scopes emphasis is on children as active learners.
With High/Scope, children learn by doing, working with hands-on materials and initiating many projects based on their interest or “teaching moments”.
The role of the teacher is to use research-based best practices to guide and promote children’s learning.
The room is divided into five or more distinct “interest” areas, such as reading and writing, math, science, art, and Phonics areas.
In each area, a wide range of appealing materials are displayed and stored in consistent, accessible locations so children can get out the materials they want and put them away independently.
Materials are arranged and labeled with child-friendly labels so that children can relate words with pictures, and get out and put away materials themselves.
The classroom's organization also helps children understand how the world is organized, and concepts like more, less, same, different, large, small, in, out, in front of, etc.
High Scope is not a one-size-fits-all approach but rather a model in which all children fit.
The classroom becomes instead a representation of children’s learning and discoveries. Teachers create a print-rich environment, displaying student writing as well as labels, important messages, group writing samples, and schedules, because students learn to read by trying to make sense of print they encounter in their everyday activities.
In addition to featuring lots of print, the walls become covered with children’s creations — artwork, science, and math projects. The students themselves select the pieces of their work they would like to display rather than the teacher choosing the “best” or “neatest.” This allows children the opportunity to display work that is meaningful to them leads to their increased self-esteem and sense of belonging in the classroom.
High Scope and Teachers:
High Scope teachers are as active and involved as children in the classroom. They thoughtfully provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that both support and challenge what children are observing and thinking.
Activities are both child-initiated — built upon children’s natural curiosity — and developmentally appropriate, but are always matched to children’s current and emerging abilities.
We call this approach active participatory learning — a process in which teachers and students are partners in shaping the learning experience.
Teachers introduce content workshops by giving a brief lesson on a particular topic or subject; then children move to table groups or other suitable places in the classroom, such as the reading area or carpet area, and begin to implement what they’ve learned by using and manipulating related materials.
What will the Teacher teach?
Teachers plan instructional activities as defined by state issued common core standards per grade.
Teachers will use a comprehensive curriculum that addresses all areas of development. Eight main curriculum content areas organize children's learning in preschool. The content categories are
- Approaches to learning
- Social and emotional development
- Physical development and health
- Language, literacy, and communication
- Creative arts
- Science and technology
- Social studies
How do High/Scope teachers handle discipline?
High/Scope teachers avoid using punishment and reward as tools for managing children's behavior. When behavior problems arise, they avoid isolating the child, instead encouraging the child to discuss the problem with the adult or with others involved. This problem-solving approach helps children develop social skills and become more aware of the impact of their actions on others.
Next: The Phonetic Program