Bloom’s Taxonomy continued

As mentioned in the previous post, Bloom’s taxonomy highlights the hierarchy of skills needed for students to reach their highest potential and development. What is important to acknowledge about Bloom’s taxonomy, is that all categories are needed for student development. The taxonomy creates a well rounded student, developing basic and higher order thinking skills. So how can educators develop all skills of the taxonomy?

One way for educators to incorporate and focus on Bloom’s taxonomy is through assessment. Here are some specific ways using two of the lower level categories:

Remembering: This category can be assessed in terms of Question & Answer, memorization, listing and being able to reproduce information. [1] Although there can be negative associations with assessments focused on memorization, as this is not considered “higher order” thinking, students can still be assessed in this category in creative ways. Examples are games like jeopardy or matching games. Assessment can be creative and effective, especially in subjects such as history or mathematics.

Understanding: Students can showcase their learning through summaries, or graphic organizers. [2] Using a graphic organizer can be a great way to assess student understanding by having them record in their own words, through guided instruction, what they’ve understood.

Just with two of the categories, it’s easy to see how Bloom’s taxonomy can apply to how educators can teach and use these principles in their assessment. While assessment tools like multiple choice exams and memorization can have negative associations and be over-relied upon, there are creative ways to assess these lower level skills in students. It’s important to remember the foundation of these skills, but the way you assess these skills can have creativity and be engaging for students.

As I discuss more about Benjamin Bloom, higher order assessment and benefits will be addressed as well.

1. University of Central Florida. (2014). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from: http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/teachingandlearningresources/coursedesign/bloomstaxonomy/

2. Illinois Online Network. (2014). Assessing Learning Objectives Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from: http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/assessment/bloomtaxonomy.asp

Mnemonics

When students first start to begin to learn about researching, the idea of citing sources can be a complex topic. There are many rules, concepts and specific ways to cite information. One way to combat this frustration, is by introducing students at a young age of how, when and why you need to cite information. This mnemonic device is meant to give students a brief overview and background information on the concept of citation. One good way to teach young students is through the use of a mnemonic device to help students remember something, and introduce a new concept. While the librarian will want to instruct students on the specifics of citation, it can help students become familiar with the need to cite sources and information as they begin to delve into researching.

I came up with a mnemonic device, meant for students in second or third grade, who are just beginning to learn about the research process. This can be used with younger or older students as well, but it is meant to introduce students to citation and be displayed in the library for students to remember when and why they need to cite their information.

When you research, remember to CITE:

Credit other people’s work

Ideas that are not your own

Telling someone else’s story, quotes or words

Examples, evidence and facts

Benjamin Bloom and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be writing about the educational theorist Benjamin Bloom for my class on motivating 21st century learners.

Benjamin Bloom was born in Lansford, Pennsylvania in 1944. He earned a B.A. and M.S. from Pennsylvania State in 1935. Bloom continued his education at the University of Chicago to receive his Ph.D. in 1942.  In 1956, along with other contributors, Bloom published his work Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which is most commonly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy [1].

The original taxonomy included six categories, which act as a hierarchy. Each category represents an area of learning that all contribute to a student’s overall development and knowledge, which include:”knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation”. In 2001, the taxonomy was revised to include new labeled categories: “remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create “. A major difference, is that the revised taxonomy includes active verbs and sub categories to label specific skills for each category [2].

The hierarchy levels work in the 2001 revision [3]:

 

Bloom’s taxonomy recognizes various levels of thinking when it comes to learning development. Students need to be able to remember, and understand knowledge in relation to their classes, and personal lives. However, I think a lot of what librarians help 21st century  learners do is more of the higher order level thinking: applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Whether this is through applying knowledge to their class work or personal lives, using analysis skills in research, evaluating credible resources or creating products through social media or Web 2.0 tools; all parts of the taxonomy are important. A student can’t reach creation, without a basic understanding of the content in front of them and a student’s development will be limited if they do not move beyond the lower stages.

1. Armstrong, P. (2014). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University: Center for Teaching. Retrieved from: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/pedagogical/blooms-taxonomy/

2. Bloom, influential education researcher. (1999). University of Chicago Chronicle: Vol.19, No.1. Retrieved from: http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/990923/bloom.shtml

3.Brame, C.J. (2014). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University: Center for Teaching. Retrieved from: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/teaching-activities/flipping-the-classroom/