Learn about our approach.
The first step is to understand why it is critical for children to build a strong foundation of knowledge. Learn what knowledge-based schooling is and how it can be accomplished using resources like the Core Knowledge Sequence.
Based on the experience of the most successful Core Knowledge schools, here are some additional steps to consider when starting a Core Knowledge program.
Visit a Core Knowledge school.
The best way to understand what makes Core Knowledge different, and so important, is to see it in action. Visit one of our schools to see the difference for yourself.
Our founder, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., has written many influential books, articles, and speeches that describe the power of the Core Knowledge approach.
Consider how you will build buy-in at your school or district.
- How will you introduce Core Knowledge to school staff, leadership, parents, and community members?
- How will you demonstrate the benefits of this approach?
Making the commitment to join the Core Knowledge community is an important decision that involves all stakeholders. Ensuring buy-in will put you on the path to success.
We offer many curricular resources—you can use them to get started or build your own.
Consider starting with CKLA and our Curriculum Series.
Consider starting with Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA), a comprehensive program for English language arts instruction in reading, writing, speaking, and listening for preschool through grade five.
For additional subject areas, browse through our Core Knowledge Curriculum Series for lesson plans, student books, and teacher guides in history and geography and in science. Many of these materials are available in both free-for-download and purchasable formats that offer you the flexibility to match your needs.
Find additional Core Knowledge materials.
Many Core Knowledge schools also use our array of poetry anthologies, Core Classics abridged novels, and other publications to enrich their classroom experiences. Browse our store to find additional materials that can strengthen your students’ background knowledge even more.
Create your own lessons based on the Sequence.
For many years, when our Curriculum Series was still in the planning stages, pioneer educators built lessons using only the Core Knowledge Sequence and the Teacher Handbook series. Use our curriculum planning tools and professional development to guide you through the process of creating your own Core Knowledge lesson plans.
Think about the Sequence and your state standards.
We have created a tool that can help draw lines of sight between the Core Knowledge Sequence and your state standards. The cumulative nature of the Sequence lays out specific grade-level content, but sometimes state standards (e.g., social studies and science) do not fully align with this curricular framework.
Our alignment packet walks you through the process of creating a Sequence-to-standards crosswalk. It also guides you through a cost-benefit analysis of various implementation options based upon how well the topics align. It is up to each school to reach a consensus as to how Core Knowledge content will be taught relative to the standards.
Review standard alignments to our Curriculum Series.
If you are starting with CKLA and the Core Knowledge Curriculum Series, review each unit introduction for alignment charts to the Common Core State Standards. Core Knowledge Science units include alignments to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
More questions about alignment?
Contact us to learn more. We have additional resources that align the Core Knowledge Sequence and CKLA to other standards initiatives, such as NGSS, Head Start Performance Outcomes, and the Common Core State Standards.
Finally, assess your progress.
Check that you have acquired your instructional resources and considered the various options for support.
- Do you (or your staff) have the necessary resources to implement Core Knowledge? Knowledge-rich teaching and learning depend on having the right tools for the job.
- Would you (or your staff) benefit from professional development? We offer free turnkey kits, school-based workshops, and leadership training that can help.
What remaining questions do you (or your staff) still have? Contact Us
Are you ready to join the Core Knowledge Community?
It uses tools like Facebook Groups and Pinterest Boards to give teachers a place to share their ideas and resources, ask questions, learn from each other, and connect with other schools teaching Core Knowledge.Learn More and Join the Conversation