Categories of Knowledge and Skills
The categories represent four broad areas of knowledge and skills within which the expectations for any given subject or course can be organized. The four categories should be considered as interrelated, reflecting the wholeness and interconnectedness of learning.
The categories help teachers focus not only on students’ acquisition of knowledge but also on their development of the skills of thinking, communication, and application.
The categories of knowledge and skills are as follows:
Knowledge and Understanding. Subject-specific content acquired in each grade or course (knowledge), and the comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding).
Thinking. The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes.
Communication. The conveying of meaning and expression through various forms.
Application. The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts.
In all subjects and courses, students should be given numerous and varied opportunities to demonstrate the full extent of their achievement of the curriculum expectations across all four categories of knowledge and skills.
Teachers will ensure that student learning is assessed and evaluated in a balanced manner with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is considered within the appropriate categories. The emphasis on “balance” reflects the fact that all categories of the achievement chart are important and need to be a part of the process of instruction, learning, assessment, and evaluation. However, it also indicates that for different courses, the relative importance of each of the categories may vary. The importance accorded to each of the four categories in assessment and evaluation should reflect the emphasis accorded to them in the curriculum expectations for the subject or course and in instructional practice.