Training of Trainers
Teacher Training and Program Effectiveness
In addition to the data from the HighScope Perry Preschool Project, other data on the effectiveness of the HighScope active learning model comes from the national, multipart HighScope Training of Trainers Evaluation conducted between 1989 and 1992.
HighScope's Training Approach
The HighScope approach to training equips teachers to deliver high-quality programs to young children. The HighScope approach to preschool education equips young children to take initiative and develop their social, intellectual, and physical capacities.
As part of the Training of Trainers Evaluation, research staff conducted a trainer study (analyzing the reports of participants in 40 seven-week training projects and surveying 203 certified HighScope trainers), a teacher study (interviewing 244 HighScope and 122 non-HighScope comparison teachers), and a child study (systematically observing 97 children in HighScope classrooms and 103 comparison children in classrooms using other early childhood educational approaches).
Findings from the trainer and teacher studies show that systematic inservice training is an effective way to achieve program quality. Independent observers rated HighScope programs significantly higher than comparison programs in
- Providing a good physical environment that is organized and gives children access to diverse materials
- Creating a consistent daily routine that encourages children to plan, carry out, and review their work
- Establishing supportive patterns of adult-child interaction that promote children's reasoning and language skills
Another study finding was that each HighScope trainer, following certification, trains an average of 25 early childhood teachers and caregivers. Based on this figure, researchers calculate that since 1982, the Foundation's 1,300 certified trainers have trained 32,500 early childhood practitioners serving 325,000 children annually in HighScope programs.
Findings from the child study favor children in HighScope programs; they were found to significantly outperform children in comparison programs in the following areas:
- Initiative, including complex play and joining in program activities
- Social relations, including relating to peers and social problem solving
- Cognitive development, including representation, classification, and language skills
- Motor development, including music and movement and the ability to focus their energies during physical activities
- Overall development, by contrast, comparison children showed no significant advantages over HighScope children on any of the assessments
In sum, the multipart evaluation provides strong evidence that an investment in a systematic dissemination and training model can produce large-scale and long-lasting benefits for programs and children.