The following are FAQs that we have received over time and during our development of the Core Knowledge ScienceTM (CKSciTM) program.
We plan to start the development of CKSci Grades 6–8 in early 2021 and will post these units online as they are completed.
Thanks to ongoing research in the field, our understanding of how children learn continues to evolve. In the subject area of science, students benefit from both reading about concepts and ideas, and from hands-on experiences.
Following the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Core Knowledge Foundation updated and enhanced the science portion of the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence. The result is the revised K-5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence (2020) and the comprehensive Core Knowledge Science (CKSci) curriculum.
While there have been some shifts in the grade levels at which certain topics are recommended, the fundamental principles of pedagogy inherent to the Core Knowledge approach, such as the importance of building a sequential, coherent and cumulative knowledge base, have been retained.
Longtime followers of the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence are not expected to abandon what they have been doing. Any Core Knowledge school that has already developed effective lessons and gathered high-quality materials based on the 2010 Sequence should feel free to continue following that instructional path. Core Knowledge schools in states that have adopted NGSS (or NGSS-influenced standards) will find the K–5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence is a useful guide to pursuing a new path aligned with those state standards. Planning, communication, and collaboration will be critical in making the transition from the 2010 Science Sequence to the revised K–5 Science Sequence, to avoid gaps and ensure continuity in building knowledge grade by grade.
CKLA (Core Knowledge Language Arts) offers early exposure to many of the same Disciplinary Core Ideas as CKSci, supporting a student’s learning progression toward an ever more complex understanding of science.
CKLA lays a foundation of knowledge and literacy about a topic before students are expected to investigate phenomena through the lens of scientific practices and crosscutting concepts. CKLA covers many of the same topics (e.g., light, sound, habitats, astronomy, etc.) that are part of CKSci, specifically for the purpose of building background knowledge and literacy for/with informational texts. Certain topics and content in the CKLA Knowledge Strand (a.k.a. the Listening and Learning Strand) are presented at one grade earlier than expected by the Next Generation Science Standards but within the correct grade band progressions outlined by the National Research Council.
For a detailed look at how CKLA domains relate to the Next Generation Science Standards, review this 2014 NGSS alignment. Domain titles are specifically found in the left-hand column for each grade.
Thanks to ongoing research in the field, our understanding of how children learn continues to evolve. In the subject area of science, in particular, students benefit from not just reading about concepts and ideas, but from hands-on experiences. Following the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the Core Knowledge Foundation used this opportunity to update and enhance the science portion of the 2010 Core Knowledge Sequence. The result of this effort is the revised 2019 Core Knowledge Science Sequence.
Relative to the 2010 Science Sequence, the revised K–5 Science Sequence (2020) also incorporates the NGSS emphasis on scientific practice. NGSS prescribes a multi-dimensional approach to science learning and instruction, integrating core ideas, hands-on practices, and crosscutting concepts, as well as applications of scientific knowledge in engineering and technology. Many of these NGSS principles are reflected in the K–5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence, which also retains, from the 2010 Sequence, the characteristic Core Knowledge emphasis on specific content carefully sequenced to build coherently from one grade to the next.
Even an experienced and scientifically-knowledgeable educator can get confused in navigating the maze of hyperlinks that make up the online NGSS guidelines. One aim of the K–5 CK Science Sequence is to offer a valid interpretation of NGSS requirements in the form of focused, user-friendly, and content-specific guidelines of practical use to teachers.
Yes! The K–5 Core Knowledge Science Sequence is the organizing framework for the new Core Knowledge Science program, CKSciTM. Check our Download Curriculum webpage for updates on units available for free download.
According to the National Science Teachers Association, “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. students live in states that have education standards influenced by A Framework for K-12 Science Education and/or the Next Generation Science Standards.” (The Framework, a 2012 report from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, provided the research base and structural recommendations that underlie NGSS.) Given the growing influence of NGSS, the Core Knowledge Foundation decided to update the science sections of the 2010 CK Sequence to support teachers by providing them with revised Core Knowledge guidelines and curricular materials more likely to align with their state-required standards in science.
All NGSS K–5 performance expectations, science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ides, and crosscutting concepts for are met by the CKSci program.
In addition, CKSci offers units that go beyond the NGSS performance expectations. These include:
- Kindergarten: “Our Five Senses”
- Grade 1: “Simple Machines,” and “Human Body Systems”
- Grade 2: “Electricity and Magnetism,” and “Human Cells and Digestion”
- Grade 3: “Human Senses and Movement”
- Grade 4: “Human Respiration and Circulation”
- Grade 5: “Human Hormones and Reproduction”
These units were developed because they represent what Core Knowledge considers to be an essential part of children’s instruction and learning (e.g., the human body and health), and offer students an opportunity to build a foundation in the early grades around complex concepts addressed in later grade levels (e.g., electricity and magnetism).
NGSS pedagogy is still very present in these eight units. Instruction affords many opportunities to explore NGSS 3-dimensional learning. The introduction of each teacher guide lists the relevant practices applied.