Core Knowledge Sequence
Science/Literature/Social Studies/Visual Arts/Music
The Core Knowledge Sequence will serve as our primary curriculum for grades K-5. A distinguishing characteristic of this curriculum is a planned progression of specific knowledge in world history and geography, American history and geography, economics, civics/government, mathematics, science, language arts, visual arts and music. The Core Knowledge Sequence aligns with Common Core State Standards.
The Core Knowledge Sequence is founded upon E.D. Hirsch’s sense of cultural literacy. In his book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know (1987), Hirsch argues that all American children need a body of “core knowledge” which will allow them to function as well-rounded citizens. Since many students were not receiving this instruction at home, it needs to be taught at school.
The Core Knowledge Sequence is described as knowledge-based schooling:
Knowledge-based schooling puts the emphasis of early education on teaching and learning an enabling core of broadly shared knowledge—enabling because it builds strong foundations for later learning and opens doors to effective participation and mutual understanding in the wider society. Such knowledge is possessed by successful adults and taken for granted by literate writers and speakers. It’s the broad and diverse knowledge that makes responsible citizenship possible (coreknowledge.org).
The Core Knowledge Sequence provides a grade-by-grade sequence of specific topics to be taught in grades K-5. The program leads students through a grade-appropriate and comprehensive view of science, literature, art, music and history. Fundamentally important topics of cultural literacy are repeated in a manner where the lower grade students can build a broad yet firm foundation of these topics while older students are able to achieve depth.
This approach brings consistency across grade levels, thus enabling teachers to base their lessons on what students have learned and will learn, and furthermore parents are able to anticipate what their children will learn in each grade. Though the Core Knowledge Foundation provides resources to support some of the sequence, teachers are encouraged to reach beyond and take ownership of their own lessons. The importance in this arrangement is that it strikes a balance between teacher support and teacher freedom.
The sciences will play a primary role in SGCA’s educational program. Science programs of The Core Knowledge Sequence focus on thematically linked science topics and the biographies of great scientists. The program allows for regular repetition regarding the most important topics, so that students are well versed in the fundamentals.