November 11, 2012
After doing my curriculum observation at Gretchen’s House on Oak Valley drive in Ann Arbor, I am more knowledgeable about the High Scope approach. Gretchen’s House curriculum is thoughtful, developmentally appropriate and engaging for the students at the school. The philosophy of the school is a play -based approach to the curriculum and that children learn by doing. At the Ann Arbor location, teachers plan activities that match children’s individual and group interests. The teachers facilitate activities that are open-ended, provide varying levels of challenge, and allow for multiple kinds of success. A large block of time in school’s daily schedule is devoted to “interest areas.” These are classroom areas and activities that target particular skill areas such as science and math and language arts. The interest area is not limited to just one type of learning. A teacher from the school says, “we do interest center activities in extended blocks of time so that children have quantities to explore them in depth and build on existing knowledge. The high scope approach deals with a lot of adult – child interaction. Teachers are required to be able to get down on the floor with the children, and promote and encourage play. Teacher help inspire ideas and to be a model for the students during their play. The teachers at Gretchen’s House have a plan-do-review process to their curriculum. The curriculum at Gretchen’s House on Oak Valley in Ann Arbor is a comfortable, safe environment that encourages play based learning, and the high scope approach helps facilitate play and assess children’s development.