Cognitive Language and Content Standards: Language Inventory of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards

Kathleen M. Winn, Kyong Mi Choi, Brian Hand
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STEM education is a current focus of many educators and policymakers and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) are foundational documents driving curricular and instructional decision making for teachers and students in K-8 classrooms across the United States. Thus, practitioners and researchers need to possess a deep and working understanding of these standards. This study aims to examine how terms within the CCSSM and the NGSS are used and aligned by addressing the following research questions: (1) What common terminology is found across CCSSM and NGSS? (2) How does the terminology between the CCSSM and the NGSS compare to one another? (3) How do the cognitive terms found in CCSSM and NGSS change across grade bands? The findings indicate that there are numerous places where common terminology is aligned and used similarly both across grade bands and between the sets of standards. Conversely, many other terms are used with varying degrees of emphasis. Because STEM is presented as a holistic subject, these variable meanings and/or expectations reveal the potential for misguided expectations within the classroom as students, teachers, and principals use the same terminology in multiple, but distinct contexts.

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