Choosing this approach means guaranteeing the success of the children and adults involved in the process.

Since entering the educational system only happens ONCE, it needs to be taken care of and nurtured to guarantee each child’s success at any age.

When a child enters the educational system, so does a family, an expectation, and a life project that ought to be welcomed with all its diversity and complexity. HighScope is prepared to respond to this in several areas and in a sustained way.

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This is a developmental approach, with evidence collected throughout 50 years, with constant validation and updates in this ever-changing digital world.

A validated approach by scientific evidence which has been awarded the title of high-quality approach by NAYEC NAEYC Announces HighScope as Year-Round Platinum Sponsor

The Perry Preschool Study was a longitudinal study that impacts several current research projects carried out by universities such as Harvard and cited in several other papers as:

“Gauging how children grow, learn, thrive”, in The Harvard Gazette.

“Effects of the Perry Preschool Program on Youths Through Age 15”, in SAGE journals.

“Harvard to do (yet another) preschool study”, in Black Enterprise.

Perry Preschool Project, in Social Programs that Work.

In this approach, all intervention areas are meticulously worked on: room organization, routine organization, how to carry out the day’s activities, socio-emotional development, learning process assessment, and program quality with specific and validated instruments.

Something brilliant is something simple and easy to implement and these two characteristics are central to HighScope’s approach, look at how simple and clear the Active Learning Wheel.


What is the HighScope curriculum?

It is an active learning approach involved in a social-emotional environment that is nurtured to detail.

HighScope’s approach is based on the Jean Piaget and John Dewey’s child’s development theory. This approach is one of the most used and promoted in the world with the best results attested. HighScope’s curriculum reaches children from nursery, pre-School, elementary school, middle school, and high school. The child learns through intentional action that they take on materials and the environment while interacting with others.

The famous longitudinal study, HighScope Perry Preschool Study has highlighted this approach. The approach’s efficacy was shown as were the benefits to those children that have the opportunity to be integrated in it. Research has shown that children who participate in HighScope programs have better results and that students and adults have reduced tendency to delinquency and increased social-emotional development, autonomy, resilience, and critical thinking.

These HighScope young people and adults have contributed greatly to society.

This approach is brilliant for its simplicity and implementation ability.

In a simple learning wheel one can find all fundamental axis, their inter-relation and centrality to success.

This simplicity enables its several stakeholders to fully comprehend it, whether they be teachers, educators, caregivers, parents, principals, therapists. Its implementation is done step by step in a continuum of conquests and successes that motivate new steps.

Creativity comes naturally because the environment promotes it that way. Positive interactions based on what the child can do as well as the social-emotional development program which is implemented step by step, promote self-esteem, self-regulation, and empathy. The environment’s neat organization contributes to an active learning indoor and outdoor, in the plan-do-review process that promotes the child’s initiative and autonomy. 


Who is it destined to?

It is destined to any child, adult, and parents.

To any child from 0 to 18 years old and to every adult that supports them. Any adult involved in the process makes their own personal and professional development journey and allows themselves to be transformed.

The approach has had a very positive impact among families, as it is structural in the educational process’ various aspects. From parent-child interaction, problem solving, naming and expressing feelings, teaching-learning strategies, home playroom organization, home garden organization, to time organization and expectation dialogue.

There is a specific approach for each teaching valence with child and program quality assessment instruments. This approach is flexible as it welcomes diversity and extends it as a great benefit in the creation of each community’s identity.

This approach was created to fight poverty and respond to children who lived in unprivileged environments, having then been extended to a universal implementation.


What makes it unique?

It is destined to any child, adult, and parents.

the rock over which we establish everything we do. HighScope leads education with over five decades of innovative early childhood research.

sometimes excellent theories do not work in the real world. HighScope curriculum and products have been tested in dozens of thousands of hours in real classrooms to show the validity and efficacy of our research results and product format.

what works stays. What does not work is abandoned. Unlike other approaches, we do not base our curriculum and products solely on research we also validate it with research. And when we find that something can be improved, we do it.

When at the base of any action is a serious, grounded, applied, and validated investigation, the probability of a successful education is enormous. In education there cannot and should not be trends, false advertising, names that are only used to fill schools or classrooms. When we talk about education we talk about children, and they deserve the best from each of us!

To implement, there are several points that make a difference:


In this process, the child chooses with intent, acts with focus, and reflects on what they have learned. With each child’s steps, they take a gigantic step in interiorizing a fundamental methodology in active learning!

Adult-child interaction

A support climate is the essence of a learning that is based on trust and mutual respect. Here the adult shares control with the child. The adult balances the freedom the child needs to explore with the limits they need to feel safe. This is a key point, especially in Portugal where many adult-child interactions are based on a one-way power relation, a negative and heavy discourse, filled with resent and blame from where punishment usually arises as a problem-solving weapon. HighScope proposes 6 steps for conflict resolution.

From theory to practice

Practice is grounded and based on a solid theory. It is not about mixing models or of having a bit of each; it is something with a beginning, middle, and end.

Active Learning for children and adults

Research on adult training show that personal and professional development strategies produce a deeper comprehension and significant changes. These strategies include learning through hands-on action and the opportunity to alternate study with practice, share, and reflection.


Assessing is a process with several tasks – observe, interact, and plan. From the daily records we move to an intentional practice, and KDIs are an integral part of that work. There are child assessment instruments such as COR (Child Observation Record) and program quality assessment PQA link para formação em PQA. To assess then means working in team to support and develop the child’s interests and potential, through Curriculum guidance.