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Appendix A: Discipline Level Enduring Understandings, Concepts, and Habits of Mind

Appendix A: Discipline Level Enduring Understandings, Concepts, and Habits of Mind

History and Social Science

History and Social Science Concepts/th> Enduring Understandings
Individual Development and Identity Ethical values, cultures and institutions shape identity and behavior.
Civilization, Cultural Diffusion and Innovation Civilizations are marked by social, technological and political complexity.
Human Interaction with the Environment Geography influences human development and in turn, is influenced by human development.
Values, Beliefs and Political Ideas The interplay among ideas, values and leadership shape the human condition, past, present and future.
Conflict and Cooperation Nations and societies choose conflict or cooperation, isolationism or interdependence.
Comparative History of Major Developments Patterns of change and continuity, cause and effect, manifest themselves across time and place.
Patterns of Social, Economic and Political Interaction Power shapes systems, structures, and worldviews.

History and Social Science Habits of Mind

  • Understand the significance of the past to one's own life, both private and public, and to society.
  • Distinguish between the important and the inconsequential to develop the "discriminating memory" that is needed to making wise judgments.
  • Develop historical empathy and perceive past events and issues as experienced by individuals and diverse groups living at the time.
  • Acquire and act upon an understanding of diverse cultures, and of a shared humanity.
  • Seek and recognize patterns and complex relationships including change over time, cause and effect, similarities and differences.
  • Recognize the importance of individuals who have made a difference in history and the significance of personal character for both good and ill.
  • Apply an understanding of the relationship between geography and history, as a matrix of time and place, and as context for events and choices.
  • Appreciate the irrational and the accident in history and human affairs.
  • Read critically and widely in order to recognize the difference between fact and conjecture, between evidence and assertion in order to frame useful questions.

Language Arts

Interdisciplinary Concepts Language Arts Concepts Enduring Understandings
Systems Morphemic Structure
Language is a system of discrete patterns and symbols, including words, letters, grammar, and syntax.

The purpose of a language, as a system, is to create meaning. Systems and structures define the various genres.
Change & Continuity Cultural Context
Language is dynamic - multiple factors affect the evolution of language.

Change and continuity in language and literature reflect individual and societal evolution.
Communication Author's Craft
Author's Purpose
Communication is making or conveying meaning. Language is intentional - a tool for processing and communicating one's ideas about the world.

All reading, writing, and speaking centers around audience and the desired effect on that audience.
Aesthetics Literary Elements
Beauty is cultural and individual.
Words are powerful.
Ideas are communicated figuratively and complexly.
Tone, mood, and voice enhance the subjective experience of language.
Universality Theme/Search for Identity
Coming of Age
Cooperation vs. Isolation
Honoring the Historical Past
Tolerance of the Atypical
Search for Knowledge
Epic Journey
Battle Between Good & Evil
Certain themes pervade literature.

Individual, cultural, and societal connections enrich literature.

Historical and cultural contexts enhance understanding. Certain works transcend their historical and cultural contexts.

Language Arts Habits of Mind

  • Habits of Mind are the metacognitive processes of scholars working in the discipline. A scholar in English language arts:
  • Understands and appreciates how literature both reflects and contributes to culture.
  • Sees reading and writing as inextricably connected, reading print through the eyes of a writer and writing with the eyes of a reader.
  • Searches for meaning in literature that can enrich and illuminate other texts, the reader's own life, and the world in which we live.
  • Reads to understand both the influences of other texts upon the text at hand and the author's perception of his/her world.
  • Seeks patterns or themes in written works.
  • Reads and writes with empathy, identifying alternate points of view even if s/he does not agree with them.
  • Is metacognitive of his/her personal processes in reading and writing, thus able to monitor and control his/her own reading and writing processes.
  • Is persistent with challenging texts and ideas, employing appropriate strategies to derive meaning.
  • Reads and writes to master the art of language usage and to demonstrate his/her personal interpretations of text, theme, and human experience.
  • Uses specific tools to write more effectively.


Interdisciplinary Concepts Discipline Concepts Enduring Understandings
Systems Relationships

Quantifying Representation
Relationships among numbers and number systems form the foundations of mathematical communication.

Patterns, relations, and functions can be expressed mathematically.

Spatial relationships can be described using coordinate geometry and other representational systems. Attributes of objects can be measured using processes and quantified units.

Measurements are determined using appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas.
Properties and Models Models

Analysis and Evaluation
Situations and structures can be represented and analyzed using algebraic symbols.

Mathematical models are used to represent and to strengthen understanding of relationships.

Data can be collected, organized, and displayed in purposeful ways.

Various statistical methods can be used to observe, analyze, predict, and make inferences about data.
Change and Interactions Patterns

Cause and Effect
The interaction of numbers and operations define computation. Patterns, relations, and functions can be recognized as such.

Change, in various contexts, can be identified and analyzed. A distinction can be made between quantitative and qualitative change.
Communication Reasoning (Justification)

Number sense and reasoning are essential to making estimates. Characteristics, properties, and mathematical arguments about geometric relationships can be analyzed and developed using logical and spatial reasoning.

Mathematical situations may be analyzed by applying transformations and the use of symmetry.

Probability and data analysis can be used to make predictions.

Mathematic Habits of Mind

  • Analyze situations in mathematical terms and pose problems based on situations observed
  • Select and use various types of reasoning and methods of proof as developed through consistent use in many contexts
  • Organize and consolidate mathematical thinking through precise verbal, written, and graphical communication
  • Analyze and evaluate the mathematical thinking and strategies
  • Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a coherent whole
  • Use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena
  • Evaluate appropriate uses of technology as a tool to support and apply the problem-solving process


Interdisciplinary Concepts Discipline Concepts Enduring Understandings
Change and Constancy Cause and Effect


Change can be identified and analyzed. Natural processes and human activity can cause changes over time.

Change occurs in patterns, trends, and cycles. Stability exists or otherwise occurs when changes are counterbalanced.
Communication Model

Models facilitate understanding through the use of familiar concepts.

Models vary in complexity to represent different levels of understanding.

Theories may evolve to incorporate new knowledge. Data can be collected, verified, organized, and communicated in purposeful ways.
Scale Measurement

Properties characterize objects, organisms, and substances. Measurement represents properties on a numerical scale.

Scale compares objects, living things, and events.

Scientists use tools and equipment to gather data.
Systems Processes


Systems consist of organized groups of interactive and related parts that form a whole.

Systems can be open or closed with respect to matter and energy.

The properties of a system are different and more complex than its individual parts.

Systems can be interdependent.

Science Habits of Mind

  • Shows curiosity and pursues answers to questions about the world.
  • Maintains a balance of open-mindedness and skepticism, entertains new ideas, and challenges information not supported by good evidence.
  • Respects the importance of reproducible data and testable hypotheses.
  • Tolerates complexity, ambiguity and persists in the face of procedural uncertainties.
  • Observes and expresses wonder about the natural world.
  • Thinks and communicates with clarity and precision.
  • Considers the impact of scientific decisions and activities.

Physical Education

Interdisciplinary Concepts Discipline Concepts Enduring Understandings
Systems Skilled Movement

Movement Principles and Concepts

Performance Concepts and Principles
Use biomechanical principles to assess and improve skill Apply physiological principles

Capable of recording, analyzing, and readjusting physical activity performance
Change and Constancy Physically Active Lifestyle Enjoy being physically active

Have an understanding of which physical activities enhance their life socially, psychologically, and physically
Communication Responsible Behavior Accept and provide feedback to improve individual and group performance

Use appropriate decision-making, conflict resolution and problem-solving skills
Aesthetics Personal Fitness Design and implement fitness plan that demonstrates understanding of future changes to accommodate life changes and uses available technology and resources
Universality - Human Experience Responsible Behavior Exhibit leadership roles and maintain an actively safe environment

Work cooperatively in competitive and non-competitive activities

Accept different points of view

Demonstrate positive character traits

Physical Education Habits of Mind

  • There are many interpretations of Habits of Mind. For our purposes, Habits of Mind refer to the characteristics displayed by a physically educated individual.
  • Understand and follow a physically active lifestyle that promotes good health and wellness.
  • Strive to improve skills necessary for participation in a physical activity.
  • Promote a culture of physical activity. Willing to engage in new opportunities for physical activity.
  • Establish and revise realistic goals for maintaining fitness/wellness.
  • Respect the abilities of others.
  • Appreciate the art of movement.
  • Understand the rules, concepts, and strategies of sports and physical activities.
  • Develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physical activity.
  • Demonstrate fair play and good sportsmanship.
  • Value individual and group accomplishment in terms of physical skills.
  • Value physical activity for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.

World Languages

Interdisciplinary Concepts Discipline Concepts Enduring Understandings
Communication Systems


Meta-linguistics (non-verbal communication)

Language is appreciated and used verbally, non-verbally and culturally.

Language is used to express, interpret, and respond with both eloquence and practicality.
Comparisons Interpretation

Patterns are intra- and inter-lingual.

Language knowledge heightens awareness of one's native and other languages.

Linguistic decisions are made based on cultural differences.
Cultures Styles


Culture shapes languages.

Cultural aspects and products help define languages.

A language, in turn, shapes a culture.

Interaction between different cultures influences the evolution of languages.
Connections Style Purpose Connections between cultures exist on a continuum across time, space and fields.

Language is universal.
Communities History

Political relationships
The universality of the human experience is shared through language.

Physical environments affect and shape language. Communities are language catalysts.

History and political power impact languages throughout history.

World Languages Habits of Mind

  • Respects the relationships of communicators - etiquette/manners, civility, etc.
  • Actively engages others through communication.
  • Sees that words are made up of parts (morphemes, etc.) that give them meaning.
  • Knows how, when and why to say what to whom.


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