Sunday, April 30, 2000

Week-long High/Scope conference kicks off Monday, The Ann Arbor News

Week-long High/Scope conference kicks off Monday
Educational think tank hosts workshops and hands-on training sessions on teaching methods.
By Pamela Appea
The Ann Arbor News

It’s been 30 years since educators, school administrators, and others got together at Perry Child Development Center in Ypsilanti to begin a conversation on how early childhood learning—particularly for low-income children—needed to be improved.

Today the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation has grown to a well-known research think tank, but the nonprofit organization continues its ties to Ypsilanti schools and the Ypsilanti community.

At High/Scope’s annual conference this week, starting Monday at the Ypsilanti Marriott Hotel, over 500 educators are expected to attend 75 workshops, seminars and hands-on training sessions to learn the High/Scope teaching method throughout the week.

The group’s method encourages children to be actively involved in learning, as opposed to the more traditional approach of adult-directed instruction, CEO Charles R. Wallgren said.

Wallgren said the conference will include a Tuesday keynote speech by David P. Weikart, president of the organization. Wallgren said Weikart will talk about the group’s accomplishments over the past 30 years, as well as what High/Scope plans for the future.

Event organizers said High/Scope aims to always reinvent itself, coming up with innovative teaching methods for special-needs children or other classroom techniques.

“All of our work is based on research. Its not that we have a warm idea and put (it) into practice … Research is absolutely critical to program development,” Wallgren said.

Typically the High/Scope annual conference attracts educators from Colombia to New Zeland to Canada, according to Anne Hudon High/Scope conference manager.

High/Scope staff said some highlights for this year’s conference include workshops focusing on the arts and related class curriculum tour, a tour of Bessie Hoffman Elementary School, and a two-day Movement and Music workshop.

Wallgreen also noted that Douglas Clements, a professor in the department of learning at SUNY Buffalo in New York will speak at a Thursday luncheon. Clements specializes in youth and mathematics education.

For more information, call the conference manager at (734) 485-2000, Ext. 277. For registration questions, ask for Ext. 228. The High/Scope e-mail address is The group’s Web address is

Originally Published Sunday, April 30, 2000