StandardX

A compilation of US teaching standards for English, math, science, and social studies, and the code used to generate it. Why? To make it easier to develop interdisciplinary lessons.

View project on GitHub
repository author/maintainer: Matt Wilkins

a project of , an education studio dedicated to translating current research into highly interdisciplinary lessons that are free for teachers.

Access lessons here.

What is this?

  1. A single .xlsx file containing the major learning standards for the four main subjects in US K-12 public schools:
  2. I’ve also included the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are incredibly ambitious goals set by the international community to (among other things) eliminate poverty, hunger, gender inequality, fight climate change, and preserve 10% of terrestrial and marine habitat by 2030. These goals are aspirational, of course, but students need to see that there’s hope and solutions to all the depressing problems we hear about on a daily basis. Here’s a succinct, and inspiring explanation of why we should #teachSDGs by human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai.

    The UN Sustainable development goals

         Learn more at teachsdgs.org

  3. R scripts used to aggregate these data. Note the repo I got the SDGs from is no longer online.

Motivations

As a published researcher, I readily recognize that science without math makes no sense; science not communicated well does not move us forward; and science and society are influenced by each other in myriad ways. It’s absolutely nuts that any of these subjects should be taught in isolation—it hurts long-term retention because students don’t see the value of isolated knowledge, and it doesn’t prepare students for how problems will be encountered outside of school and in the workplace. Yet, in 2021 lessons are still about as siloed as they were when I was a kid. Why is that?

Through my work with Vanderbilt University’s Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach, I had the unique opportunity to develop and teach interdisciplinary lessons in collaboration with teachers as a Resident Scientist at a middle school 5-days a week for 3 1/2 years. This was a fantastic experience, and I found that teachers and students were both very excited about the types of interdisciplinary lessons we were able to develop together. But part of the reason this was possible is that teachers were encouraged to work with me by their colleagues and the principal. It was understood that there would be a rich learning experience from bringing me into the classroom because I’m an expert who has a lot of creative ideas for blending together data, real-world problems, and human narratives. But for an unfamiliar English teacher to see the value in a lesson about misinformation related to the correlation between hurricane intensity and climate change, things needed to be aligned to English standards. But wouldn’t this lesson fit just as easily in a science or social studies classroom? Couldn’t it be designed in alignment to all subjects at once?

Turns out a central problem was that nobody seems to have even compiled these standards into 1 easily explorable data file. The standards are all explorable in their separate databases and it’s kind of a hassle to go back and forth between them. Worse, if you’re like me and want everything to be in a spreadsheet, where codes and statements are searchable, filterable, and sortable, you’re outta luck. Common Core is available in a really complicated XML format. C3 was previously only in PDF form, and NGSS wasn’t publicly downloadable anywhere I could find. There actually was an NSF and Gates Foundation-founded project to make all the standards (like all of em) around the world, in the US, etc. searchable. It’s called the Achievement Standards Network—you’ve probably never heard of it; the downloadable formats are useless for the average person, the main search function is paywalled and seems pretty targeted at enterprise edtech companies. Partially funded by the American public…don’t get me started 😠

Anyway, long story short: the first step to making it easier for anyone to make interdisciplinary lessons (useful to teachers in multiple subjects) is to have all the standards be searchable in 1 spreadsheet. So I made one!

Please let me know if this file is useful to you!

Neither I (Matt Wilkins) nor Galactic Polymath claim any copyright to any of the standards aggregated here. I have merely compiled these multi-subject standards for the purpose of stimulating the development of interdisciplinary lessons and curricula.

Acknowledgements

  • NGSS standards data were provided by Ted Willard. Codes for cross-cutting-concepts follow the system he developed for his book The NSTA Atlas of the Three Dimensions.
  • C3 standards were provided by John Lee, PhD through helpful communications with Dr. Kathy Swan.

Download and Explore

Click the image below to download, explore and align lessons to the final collection of 2,534 standards for K-12: screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet with code, standard statements and other standards information for a few math and science standards > align-to-all-subject-standards.xlsx