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ERIC Number: ED590622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 129
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-4384-3445-5
ISSN: EISSN-
Content Complexity in High School English: An Analysis of Common Core State Standards and Past Massachusetts Curriculum
Jarmon, Mark
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
There has been much debate about having standardized curricula content standards for all. Some have criticized state curriculum content standards for varying in quality by state. The purpose of this study was to compare content complexity as it appears within the high school English Language Arts Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the former state standards of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001), in Grades 9-12. Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK) was the framework through which the analysis for this study was conducted. Webb described four levels of DOK as they apply to English language arts specific to reading and writing. DOK levels increase in cognitive complexity as tasks that students are required to complete move from Level 1 to 4. The level of cognition, according to the research within this study, required to reach higher order levels of thinking are DOK Levels 3 and 4. This includes, but is not limited to, exhibiting deep knowledge of subject matter, providing support for student thinking, writing with purpose for an intended audience, and performing complex analyses in reading or writing. State standards that do not exhibit a high level of content complexity may contribute to the stifling of high-order thinking, which is why it is essential to ensure that state standards promote critical thinking. This study was a qualitative content analysis which utilized Mayring's step model to develop a procedure for reviewing the two sets of state standards. Additionally, the coding team utilized an independent method of coding standards (i.e. double-rater read-behind) to ensure greater internal reliability. Such a procedure was utilized in similar studies. The major findings identified when the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Grades 9--12 and the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001), Grades 9--12 were compared using the DOK framework were: 1. The Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001), Grades 9-12 contained a higher combined percentage of DOK Levels 3 and 4 than the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Grades 9-12. 2. The Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001), Grades 9-12 contained a lower combined percentage of DOK Levels 1 and 2 than the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Grades 9-12. The results of the study show that the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001), Grades 9-12 standards provide a greater opportunity for higher order thinking activities than do the Common Core State Standards. This claim is based on the results of the coding team who found that there was a greater percentage of standards for Level 3 and 4 combined in the former Massachusetts standards than were found in the Common Core State Standards. A greater percentage of standards in Levels 3 and 4 means a greater opportunity for students to engage in higher level thinking. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts