Active learning is at the center of the HighScope curriculum. It’s the foundation of young children gaining knowledge through their natural play and interactions with the environment, events, and other people. Our goal is to develop lifelong skills, including problem-solving, critical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills that are fundamental for successful living in our rapidly changing society.
Subjects are presented in an interactive and integrated format conducive to the way young children learn. Rather than sit at a table and learn math, then go outside and learn science, then paint at an art easel to learn colors, we instead incorporate all subjects into all our learning environments because all subjects are naturally interrelated in real life.
The learning environment is such a critical part of our approach that we refer to it as the third teacher in the classroom. Our classrooms and teaching spaces provide a warm, welcoming, and safe atmosphere and reflect the diversity of the children’s home lives, languages, and cultures. Teachers incorporate materials that are meaningful and interesting to children, and families are invited to contribute as well. The various spaces encourage all levels of play, where children are taught to find, use, and return materials independently.
Teachers act as partners, working alongside children and communicating with them both verbally and nonverbally to encourage learning. At Pre-K 4 SA, every classroom has a certified teacher educated specifically in Early Childhood Education and an assistant teacher. They ask questions that make the children think, challenge, explore, and learn. They model behavior for the children, use intervention skills that strengthen each child’s social skills and create an environment that celebrates diverse cultures and embraces similarities and differences.