Three Categories of Content Standards
Marzano and Kendall (1996) identify three categories of content standards:
procedural, declarative, and contextual:
- Procedural standards are based on "procedural knowledge,
the skills and processes important to a given content area" (p. 12).
Examples of procedural standards are: "performing long division, setting
up an experiment, [and] editing an essay" (p. 12).
- Declarative standards are based on "declarative knowledge,
[which] can be thought of as 'information' and usually involves component
parts. For example, knowledge of the concept of 'democracy' includes understanding
that decisions are made by the people, each person has a single vote, votes
are weighted equally, and so on" (p. 12). Examples of declarative standards
include: "understanding the concept of a numerator, knowing what an amoeba
is, [and] knowing the conventions of punctuation" (p. 12).
- Contextual standards are based on contextual knowledge--"knowledge
in context, information, and/or skills that have particular meaning because
of the conditions that form part of their description" (p. 12). Examples
of contextual knowledge include: "modeling numbers using number line,
classifying organisms, [and] using appropriate tone and style for a selected
audience" (p. 12). They add:
"Like the declarative/procedural distinction, this contextual knowledge
is basic; a 'piece' that cannot be further reduced without loss of important
information. For example, modeling numbers using a number line involves
a procedural part (the process of modeling) and a declarative part (the
concept of numbers). However, the two combined are greater than the sum
of the individual parts. The combination represents a basic unit of knowledge
important to the domain of mathematics. The process of modeling in this
context has specific characteristics that it does not have in other contexts,
and the characteristics of numbers that are highlighted in the modeling
process are probably not highlighted quite so specifically in any other
environment." (p. 12)
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