HighScope Curriculum vs. Creative Curriculum

Children in a preschool classroom

HIghScope and Creative Curriculum are successful methods of preschool programming that are intended to create the best learning environment possible in the classroom. Each is centered around well-researched philosophies of growth and development of children. Both are widely used in public and private preschools as well as Head Start programs.

1 Theory

Creative Curriculum is a teacher-directed method of classroom planning. Keeping in mind children's interests, the teacher plans the daily activities and areas of learning. HighScope allows children to develop their own daily schedule and learning interests with the teacher as a facilitator who guides the process.

2 The Classroom Environment

Both HighScope and Creative Curriculum classrooms are arranged into clearly-defined areas of interest requiring different sets of skills, such as art, dramatic play, science and blocks. HighScope teachers carefully design the areas to promote a process called "active learning." Creative Curriculum teachers pay special attention to community-building and social problem-solving during play.

3 What Children are Learning

HighScope and Creative Curriculum are both designed to give adequate attention to important skill development in the fields of language and literacy, social studies, math and science, and the arts. Many states have adopted early childhood education standards or ways to measure how preschool programs incorporate these critical subjects into their curriculum.

4 Benefits

Both HighScope and Creative Curriculum have research-based assessment tools to track each child's growth and development in the classroom. This gives teachers the ability to see an individual child's progress and/or focus on areas that need attention.

5 Considerations

HighScope teachers obtain certification in the correct use of the curriculum in the classroom. Creative Curriculum teachers do not need certification, but ongoing trainings keep teachers informed of successful teaching strategies.

As an early childhood educator, Robin Littell has many years' experience writing informative articles, newsletters and curriculum tools for families and colleagues. She also just recently earned her master's degree in English from National University and is venturing into the field of freelance writing. Littell has written several published articles for eHow and Answerbag.