The Critical Concepts Project

Research indicates that most standards documents articulate far more content than can be taught in the time available to K–12 teachers. In response, analysts at Marzano Research sought to identify, as objectively as possible, a focused set of critical concepts for each K–12 grade level in the content areas of English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science.

Our process for identifying and articulating critical concepts involved eight phases, which are described in the report The Critical Concepts (Final Version: English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science). The descriptions of phases 1 through 5 explain how we identified measurement topics in the areas of ELA, mathematics, and science (these measurement topics are listed in appendices A, B, and C of the report). The descriptions of phases 6, 7, and 8 explain how we created proficiency scales, or learning progressions, for each of the measurement topics. This report also articulates guidelines that purchasers of the Critical Concepts proficiency scales can use to validate and customize the scales for their local standards and students.

Learn More

Read The Critical Concepts (Final Version: English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science).

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Read The Critical Concepts - Alignment to Source Standards .

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Next Steps

Contact us for more information about using the Critical Concepts in your school or district.

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