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High/Scope Perry Preschool Program



The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program (High/Scope) utilizes an active-learning approach to educating children, imparting skills that will support their development through school and into young adulthood. Based on more than 40 years of scientific research, it provides teachers and caregivers with a blueprint for daily routine, classroom and playground organization, and teacher-child interaction, all designed to create a warm, supportive learning environment. In addition, this learning environment encourages independent thinking, initiative, and creativity. High/Scope’s goals are for young children to:

  • Learn through active involvement with people, materials, events, and ideas.
  • Become independent, responsible, and confident, ready for school and ready for life.
  • Learn to plan and execute activities, then talk with other children and teachers about what they have done and what they have learned (Plan-Do-Review).
  • Gain knowledge and skills in important content areas, including language and literacy, initiative and social relationships, creative representation, movement, music, mathematics, and logical thinking.

Every day, the program offers one-on-one adult attention, assures children that they can choose interesting things to do, and gives children a sense of control over themselves and their surroundings.

Evaluations have demonstrated a wide range of successful outcomes for Perry Preschool children, compared to those who did not receive intervention, including:

  • Less delinquency, including less contact with juvenile justice officials, fewer arrests at age 19, and less involvement in serious fights, gang fights, causing injuries, and police contact.
  • Less antisocial behavior and misconduct during elementary school and at age 15.
  • Higher academic achievement, including higher scores on standardized tests of intellectual ability and higher high school grades.
  • Less school dropouts at age 19 (33 percent versus 51 percent) and higher rates of high school graduation.
  • Greater commitment to school and more favorable attitudes about high school.
  • Higher rates of employment (50 percent versus 32 percent) and pay and greater job satisfaction.
  • Greater economic independence and less reliance on public assistance, including welfare usage.
  • Fewer pregnancies and births for women at age 19.

Risk Factors


Difficult temperament


Low intelligence quotient


Family poverty/low family socioeconomic status


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Model Program

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001): Promising program

National Mental Health Association: Lela Rowland Prevention Award

Adults and Children Together (ACT) Against Violence: Model program

Child Magazine (Demonstration Preschool): 10 Best Preschools in America

OJJDP Blueprints Project: Promising Program


High/Scope Educational Research Foundation
600 North River Street
Ypsilanti, MI 48198–2898
Phone: (734) 485-2000
Fax: (734) 485-0704
Web site: http://www.highscope.org/


Greenwood, P.; Model, K. E.; Rydell, C. P.; and Chiesa, J. (1996). Diverting Children From a Life of Crime: Measuring Costs and Benefits. RAND (MR-699.0-UCB/RC/IF).

Schweinhart, L. J., Barnes, H. V., and Weikart, D. P. (1993). Significant Benefits: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 27. Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press.

Date Created: April 7, 2021