Journal Article

Developmentally Appropriate Public School Preschool

A Study of Implementation of the High/Scope Curriculum and its Effects on Disadvantaged Children’s Skills at First Grade

By Frede, E. & Barnett, W. S. (1992).

Although preschool for disadvantaged children is strongly supported nationally as a beneficial endeavor, the research that underlies this support has mostly been limited to small-scale, high-quality programs. Some have questioned the ability of public schools to provide similar experiences and outcomes for young children. This study finds that large-scale public school programs can provide developmentally appropriate experiences for disadvantaged young children that contribute to increased skills in first grade. Based on a measure of fidelity of implementation of the High/Scope curriculum, it appears that programs implementing the curriculum moderately to very well contribute more to school success than programs with low levels of implementation. It is recommended that policy makers consider the use of a system combining ongoing evaluation of practices with staff training as a way of maintaining high levels of program implementation and effectiveness.

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The Authors

In her work, Dr. Frede applies what she has learned throughout her varied career in early childhood education, including experience as a teacher of ages 0-8, curriculum and professional development specialist at the HighScope Foundation, teacher educator at The College of New Jersey, researcher, pre-k administrator for the New Jersey Department of Education, education lead in a large Head Start grantee and early learning lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.