Core Knowledge Explained

Core Knowledge is a curriculum, a systematic syllabus of topics to be studied by students in prekindergarten through 8th grades. It includes topics and subtopics in language arts, world history, American history, geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science. Core Knowledge balances the description of academic skills with a prescription for subject-content knowledge. The curriculum is designed to give educators a way of knowing what students have experienced in school and to give students a common foundation on which to build additional learning. Core Knowledge is different from other curriculums in that it describes what a student should know, not what a student should be able to do.

Core Knowledge is designed to promote equity in education by building a base of knowledge for all students in the early years of school. The knowledge base is intended to be extensive in scope, rather than intensive in application. It is a rigorous survey of the subject matter in language arts, history and geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science that a well-educated student should know by the end of 8th grade.

How Core Knowledge Works

The Core Knowledge curriculum is meant to equip students with the background knowledge they will need as they enter the more specialized curriculum that characterizes the high school experience. Core Knowledge is intended to fill several significant gaps in school curriculum design.