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About Us


HighScope Educational Research Foundation is an independent nonprofit research, development, training, and public outreach organization with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan. HighScope's mission is to lift lives through education. We envision a world in which all educational settings use active participatory learning so everyone has a chance to succeed in life and contribute to society.

Landmark Research
While HighScope conducts research in a variety of areas, our organization is perhaps best known for its landmark Perry Preschool Study, a longitudinal study demonstrating the effectiveness of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum and the lasting effects of high-quality preschool education. Our movement and music curriculum and elementary education approach are also based on extensive research.

HighScope Headquarters - Hutchinson House January 2008National Scope
HighScope's research on preschool education has had an important impact on public policy, contributing to the continuation of the national Head Start program and other educational programs for young children. HighScope preschool programs are compatible with the Guidelines for Appropriate Practice published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

International Reach
HighScope's research-validated preschool education approach is used throughout the world, and International Institutes for the dissemination of HighScope materials and ideas are located in the UK, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, The Netherlands, Chile and many other countries.


HighScope is committed to promoting high-quality early education for children and youth worldwide. To achieve this goal, HighScope engages in the following activities, supporting educators and parents as they help children learn:

HighScope History

HighScope was established in 1970 by the late David P. Weikart, PhD (1931-2003), who started the organization to continue research and program activities — including the Perry Preschool Project — he originally initiated as an administrator with the Ypsilanti Public Schools. The name "HighScope" refers to the organization's high purposes and far-reaching mission. Dr. Weikart retired from HighScope in December 2000. Lawrence J. Schweinhart, PhD, served as the President of the HighScope Foundation from 2003–2013 when he retired. Cheryl Polk, PhD is the current President of the HighScope Foundation.


  • Develops early childhood curriculum components for
    • Infant-toddler care and education
    • Preschool education
    • Early literacy
    • Movement and music
    • Elementary education
  • Offers research-validated assessment tools, including instruments for both child assessment and program assessment
  • Provides training for preschool and elementary teachers and administrators
  • Publishes curriculum materials, books, and videos
  • Presents an annual International HighScope Conference for teachers and teacher-trainers
  • Operates a Demonstration Preschool in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which serves children in the local community and provides a model of "HighScope in action" for visiting educators

Overview of HighScope

The Late David Weikart, Visionary Leader





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