Academic Content Standards Typology©

1. Conceptual Standards denote knowledge to be used to do something.
a) Knowledge students use as a means to an end.
b) The intellectual constructs (concepts, principles, ideas) we use to think with.
c) Instrumental Knowledge we use replicatively, associatively, interpretively, and applicatively1.
d) This is the knowledge that is most empowering.
e) Knowledge is used to do things: Knowledge is to a problem as a Tool is to a job
2. Performance Standards denote something to do.
a) Knowledge students do as ends as opposed to means.
b) Performance items require conceptual knowledge as a means to do them.
c) The standards rarely give what knowledge the student is to use to do the performance. Therefore, the teacher must select the concepts the students should use. In other words, the teacher must create Concept Standards on their own. This is good.
d) Performance knowledge can become instrumental knowledge and empowering once it is learned and meaningful.
Example: Passing the drivers license test is a performance standard that uses the conceptual knowledge of driving to be performed satisfactorily to pass. Once we can drive, that becomes in and of itself an means to the ends of going places.
e) Sometimes performance standards are superficially empowering or deskilling.
Example: Performing binomial multiplication without knowing its relevance.
3. Subject Matter Standards denote fact-like things.
a) People
b) Places
c) Events
d) Dates
e) Things
f) Terms
g) Definitions
1 Harry Broudy, Truth and Credibility: A Citizen's Dilemma, 1981
2003 Randy Hoover & Kathy Shook