Institute for Ideas

Institute for IDEAS logoFrom 1963-2002, the High/Scope Institute for IDEAS (formerly called the High/Scope Summer Workshop for Teenagers) served over 2,500 youth ages 14-17. The IDEAS acronym stands for increasing student Initiative, appreciation for Diversity, education and career Expectations, motivation for Achievement, and appreciation for community Service.

Over the years the program ranged from 4 to 8 weeks. The IDEAS model was premised on the assumption that youth are best prepared for the transition to early adulthood through opportunities to explore their own identity, relationships and abilities in the safety of an environment  with clear structure and limits.  Youth were exposed to project-based workshops in the arts and sciences.

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The Institute for IDEAS was a pioneer in the effort to see adolescents for their strengths (assets) rather than their problems.  The IDEAS model was adopted at several locations across the country, and in 1995, the Institute was certified by the US Department of Education’s Program Effectiveness Panel (PEP) for inclusion in the National Diffusion Network Register.  The High Scope Institute for IDEAS was accredited by the American Camping Association and licensed by the State of Michigan Bureau of Regulatory Services.

Two books provide more details on the Institute for IDEAS. Learning Comes to Life (Ilfield,1996) details the program, and Challenging the Potential (Oden, Ma, & Weikart, 1992) describes the impacts.