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The Critical Concepts
Research Reports

The Critical Concepts

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Publication date: August 8, 2016

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.

This is the final version of this report as it pertains to Marzano Research’s Critical Concepts work in ELA, math, and science (replacing draft versions 1.0 and 2.0 published in August 2015 and January 2016, respectively). Future work and reports will address Critical Concepts work in at least two additional areas: social studies and cognitive skills.

Free 47-page PDF
  • Great information

    by Dr. Jon on Oct 8, 2016

    Strategies are practical and easy to use
    Research is up-to-date and informative
    Ideas and theories are clearly explained

    Critical Concepts provides school leaders lists of the priorities for instruction in Science, Mathematics, and English Language Arts based on work done by Marzano Research. It can serve as a guide for school leaders who are implementing competency based education.

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Strategies are practical and easy to use
Research is up-to-date and informative
Ideas and theories are clearly explained