The Plan-Do-Review Cycle and Self-Regulation

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By Hilary White

‘Plan-do-review’ makes a great slogan. Quick and easy to remember, it rolls off the tongue and neatly sums up a hugely important process that can usefully be applied to many aspects of life – including the young child’s interaction with the world.

Plan-do-review is most commonly associated with the HighScope approach to early years education. HighScope uses the cycle as a means of enabling children to make independent choices, plan how to manage their time during a session and assess their experiences at the end of the session.

children constructing models

Plan-do-review and individual activities

The plan-do-review cycle can be used as a framework for individual activities, as well as for organising time periods. It is also useful for supporting the child’s developing ability to self-regulate; for example, planning an activity requires impulse control, carrying out the plan necessitates holding information in mind, and reviewing the activity allows children to monitor what they are doing and adapt accordingly. The plan-do-review cycle can be applied to numerous different activities. Building models from scrap lends itself particularly well to the cycle, and in the following example we look at ways of supporting the children as they plan their models, carry out their plans and review what they have achieved.

Building a scrap model

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