In the High/Scope approach, teachers and children are active partners in the learning process. This balanced approach to adult-child interaction--also called "intentional teaching" - is critical to the effectiveness of the program. It includes techniques for encouraging learning in specific content areas as well as strategies for helping children resolve conflict.
The space and materials in a High/Scope setting are carefully arranged to promote active learning. The center is divided into interest areas organized around specific kinds of play; for example, block area, house area, small toy area, sand-and-water area, and art area.
High/Scope teachers give preschoolers a sense of control over the events of the day by planning a consistent daily routine that enables the children to anticipate what happens next. Central elements of the preschool daily routine include the plan-do-review sequence, small- and large-group times, greeting time and outside time.
The curriculum is built around teacher- and child-initiated learning activities in five main curriculum content areas: approaches to learning; language, literacy, & communication; social and emotional development; physical development, health, and well-being; and arts and sciences. Within these areas are 58 key developmental indicators (formerly called "key experiences") — observable early childhood milestones that guide teachers as they plan learning experiences and interact with children.