Play is at the heart of the active learning curriculum. Children engage in active learning when they construct knowledge through interactions with materials, people, events, and ideas. Nurturing adults help children explore, make decisions, and get excited about learning.

Find more information about the HighScope Preschool Curriculum by following the links below.


Our research-based, active learning curriculum has been carefully designed to promote independent and creative thinking, decision making, and problem solving in children from birth through kindergarten. The HighScope Curriculum focuses on creating engaging classrooms and routines that encourage adult-child interactions and support children’s play with a variety of learning opportunities.

By applying intentional teaching methods that engage young children based on their level of interest and development, HighScope takes the learning process beyond traditional academic subjects, while preparing children for later schooling and future success in life. This child-focused approach to early education achieves powerful, positive results.

Download What, How, and Why We Teach to learn more.


See the HighScope approach in action and learn what makes the HighScope Curriculum unique!

Watch the overview video here.


Each KDI is linked to one of the dimensions of school readiness, and each is a statement that identifies an observable child behavior reflecting knowledge and skills in the main content areas of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. Download the complete list of KDIs (in English and Spanish) below.



The Perry Preschool Longitudinal Study is perhaps the best known of HighScope's studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum. Our movement and music curriculum, elementary education approach, and youth development approach are also based on extensive research.

For more information on research and studies related to our Curriculum, please click on the links below:


HighScope’s active learning model provides inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities. All children benefit when they participate actively in their own learning process and engage in authentic relationships with supportive adults who provide developmentally appropriate learning opportunities. HighScope’s Preschool Curriculum provides children with the opportunity for access, participation, and support — the defining features of inclusion identified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Council for Exceptional Children.

Download Play as an Intervention — a series of four articles written by HighScope Educational Consultants and Early Education Specialists.


In all early childhood programs, children have conflicts over space, materials, and friendships. Learning how to find solutions that work for everyone is an important learning experience for young children. Given that adults are not always effective at social problem solving, it is no wonder that this area poses a substantial challenge for young children. It is also a major concern among practitioners, many of whom have not been trained to deal with this daily occurrence. Refer to the following strategies to learn how you can help young children resolve disputes.


  1. Provide a consistent, predictable routine.
  2. Encourage children’s language development.
    1. Be warm and positive in conversations.
    2. Describe and imitate children’s actions.
    3. Read books about feelings.
    4. Talk with children about feelings.
  3.  Play in partnership with children.
    1. Get down on children's level and engage play on their terms.
    2. Encourage learning about feelings during play.
    3. Help children resolve problems that arise during play.


  • Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions. Place yourself between the children, on their level.

  • Acknowledge children's feelings. Say something simple such as "You look really upset." Let children know you need to hold any object in question.
  • Gather information. Ask "What's the problem?" Do not ask "Why" questions.
  • Restate the problem. "So the problem is…"
  • Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together. "What can we do to solve this problem?"
  • Be prepared to give follow-up support. Acknowledge their accomplishments (e.g., "You solved the problem!") Stay nearby in case anyone is not happy with the solution and the process needs repeating.


Want to see more of the HighScope approach in action? Visit our Home page to watch short clips that will show you strategies you can use in your classroom. To view our full list of videos, become a HighScope member!