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Curriculum Overview

Pennsylvania Standards-Aligned System & Common Core Standards

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has adopted the Standards-Aligned System (SAS). This is a comprehensive approach to support student achievement across the Commonwealth. The curriculum framework specifies what is to be taught for each subject in the curriculum. In Pennsylvania, curriculum frameworks includes Big Ideas, Concepts, Competencies, and Essential Questions aligned to the Standards and Assessment Anchors and, where appropriate, Eligible Content.

On July 1, 2010, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics, making Pennsylvania the 18th state to do so. The Pennsylvania State Board of Education has identified a strong alignment between Common Core State Standards and the Pennsylvania Standards.

Below are definitions for the Standards-Aligned System Curriculum Framework:

  • Big Ideas: Declarative statements that describe concepts that transcend grade levels. Big Ideas are essential to provide focus on specific content for all students.
  • Concepts: Describe what students should know (key knowledge) as a result of this instruction specific to grade level.
  • Competencies: Describe what students should be able to do (key skills) as a result of this instruction, specific to grade level.
  • Essential Questions: Questions connected to the SAS framework and are specifically linked to the Big Ideas. They should frame student inquiry, promote critical thinking, and assist in learning transfer.

Please visit www.pdesas.org to learn more.


 

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