HighScope Educational Approach for Preschool provides organizational and teaching practices approaches to SEL. It includes programming for PreK and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness at the PreK level. Translated materials for HighScope are available in Spanish and French.
- Instructional practices
- Relationship building
- Positive classroom management
- Systemic support for SEL
- Group structures
- Student supports
- School Involvement
- Individualized Communication
- Onsite in-person training
- Virtual training
- Offsite training
- Train the trainer model
- Administrator support
- Technical assistance
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
- Online resource library
- Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
- Observational tools
- Tools for measuring student success
Evidence of effectiveness
Results from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation conducted in the 2017-2018 school year (report written in 2019) supported the effectiveness of the HighScope Preschool Curriculum program for preschool children. This evaluation included 302 prekindergarten classroom teachers teaching in public elementary school, community-based, and Head Start settings in the US Southeast (student demographics: white = 52%; Black = 37%; 82% resided in households below the poverty threshold). This evaluation found that classrooms participating in the HighScope program demonstrated significant improvements in observer-reported classroom climate and teaching practices compared to control classrooms (outcomes reported 1 year after baseline).
Results from a longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) beginning in 1962 demonstrated the lasting impact of HighScope Preschool Curriculum on preschool students who were at academic risk (Farnsworth et al., 1985; Schweinhart & Weikart, 1981). These evaluations followed prekindergarten students enrolled in preschool settings in the US Midwest (Black =100%; 50% eligible for SNAP/TANF benefits) into adolescence. This evaluation found that students participating in the program demonstrated significantly better achievement, self-reported academic behaviors, as well as engaged in fewer delinquent behaviors at age 15 compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported 11 years after baseline).
Evidence shown in gradesPre-K School characteristics
- Black / African American
- Low income
Percentage Low Income
- Percentage resided in households below poverty threshold: 82%
Study design type
Greater than 350 students included in study design type
Multiple school districts included at study design type
- Improved academic performance
- Reduced emotional distress
- Improved identity development and agency
- Reduced problem behaviors
- Improved school climate
- Improved school connectedness
- Improved social behaviors
- Improved teaching practices
- Improved other SEL skills and attitudes
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- Accepted by CASEL
AIR (2019) HighScope Preschool Curriculum and Professional Development Efficacy Study. Published as a results in brief.
Farnworth, M., Schweinhart, L. J., & Berrueta-Clement, J. R. (1985). Preschool intervention, school success and delinquency in a high-risk sample of youth. American Educational Research Journal, 22, 445-464.
Schweinhart, L. J., & Weikart, D. P. (1981, December). Effects of the Perry Preschool Program on youths through age 15. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children
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- Other references
Belfield, C. R., Nores, M., Barnett, W. S., & Schweinhart, L. J. (2006). The HighScope Perry Preschool Program: Cost-benefit analysis using data from the age-40 follow-up. The Journal of Human Resources, 41(1), 162-190.
Berrueta-Clement, J. R., Schweinhart, L. J., Barnett, W. S., Epstein, A. S., & Weikart, D. P. (1984). Changed lives: The effects of the Perry Preschool program on youths through age 19 (Monographs of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 8). Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.
Heckman, J. J., Moon, S. H., Pinto, R., Savelyev, P. A., & Yavitz, A. Q. (2010a). The Rate of Return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program. Journal of Public Economics, 94(1-2), 114-128.
Heckman, J. J., Moon, S. H., Pinto, R., Savelyev, P. A., & Yavitz, A. Q. (2010b). A Reanalysis of the HighScope Perry Preschool Program. Quantitative Economics, 1(2).
Muennig, P., Schweinhart, L., Montie, J., & Neidell, M. (2008). Effects of a prekindergarten educational intervention on adult health: 37- year follow-up results of a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 1431-1437.
Nores, M., Belfield, C. R., Barnett, W. S., & Schweinhart, L. J. (2005). Updating the economic impacts of the HighScope Perry Preschool Program. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(3), 245-261.
Schweinhart, L. J., Barnes, H. V., & Weikart, D. P. (1993). Significant benefits: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study through age 27 (Monographs of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 10). Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.
Schweinhart, L. J., Berrueta-Clement, J. R., Barnett, W. S., Epstein, A. S., & Weikart, D. P. (1985, Summer). Effects of the Perry Preschool Program on youths through age 19 — A summary. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 5, 26-35.
Schweinhart, L. J., Montie, J., Xiang, Z. Barnett, W. S., Belfield, C. R., & Nores, M. (2005). Lifetime effects: The HighScope Perry Preschool Study through age 40. Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.
Schweinhart, L. J., & Weikart, D. P. (1980). Young children grow up: The effects of the Perry Preschool Program on youths through age 15 (Monographs of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 7). Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.
Schweinhart, L. J., & Weikart, D. P. (1983). The effects of the Perry Preschool Program on youths through age 15 — A summary. In Consortium for Longitudinal Studies, As the twig is bent . . . Lasting effects of preschool programs. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Schweinhart, L. J., & Weikart, D. P. (1997). The High/Scope preschool curriculum comparison study through age 23. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 12, 117-143.
Schweinhart, L. J., Weikart, D. P., & Larner, M. B. (1986). Consequences of three preschool curriculum models through age 15. Early Child Research Quarterly, 1, 15-45.
Schweinhart, L. J., Weikart, D. P., & Larner, M. B. (1986). Rejoinder: Child-initiated activities in early childhood programs may help prevent delinquency. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 1, 303-312.
Weikart, D. P., Epstein, A. S., Schweinhart, L. J., & Bond, J. T. (1978). The Ypsilanti Preschool Curriculum Demonstration Project: Preschool years and longitudinal results through fourth grade (Monographs of the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, 4). Ypsilanti, MI: HighScope Press.