Bloom’s Taxonomy

There isn’t a person alive in education who didn’t sit through the single lecture about Bloom’s taxonomy.  In fact, as I sit here, I just pulled down one of the books that I’ve retained from my teachers’ training.  “Psychology for Teaching: A Bear Always Usually Faces the Front” by Guy R. Lefrancois.  I don’t know if it’s still in print but it’s a definite keeper.

Over the years, people have tried to explain learning theory in a number of ways but we keep returning to the original or slightly modified theories based upon Bloom’s work.

With computers and technology, we have modern representations as well.

or we have an interactive Flash located here;

or a revised taxonomy here;

or digitally applied here;

or a whack of posters here;

or connections to a Web 2.0 world here.

Over the weekend, I read a blog entry from George Couros that was really put another focus on things for me.  Instead of communicating the concepts at the highest theoretical level, the various taxonomies were put in context of a simple pen.

I’m thinking of my own personal use for this approach.  At the Faculty of Education, I’m always trying to impress upon my students the need for looking past a computer activity or application to the deeper thinking and skills that go along with the activity.  In the classroom, so many lessons revolve around the technology and making it work with the students that you can easily lose the bigger picture of what it is that you’re attempting academically.

Just thinking out loud here, any software or activity should be analysed and held up to inspection like the humble pen in this blog entry.  Introduced properly, this may well be the way to take a closer and deeper look and everything that we do when using technology.


4 thoughts on “Bloom’s Taxonomy

  1. It is WORTH READING in Bloom’s own words the beginning of the following book where he talks about NOT starting at the bottom and working up as it was NOT meant to be a ladder. He says he would have listed them in reverse order had he known the damage that would be done to learning by people starting at the bottom and working up (isolating skills and facts form relevant contexts and meaningful learning) instead of what he feels should be done…students being given hard problems or challenges to create and they get the other levels as part of the problem solving or design process. In other words engage learners in worthwhile and challenging tasks and make sure you incorporate all the types of processes within the journey to achieving that. NOT bore the life out of learners by breaking things down and not letting them get their proverbial teeth stuck into anything interesting until after they have mastered the (seemingly irrelevant from the learner’s perspective that is) component skills.

    Anderson , L.W., & Sosniak, L.A. (Eds.). (1994). Bloom’s taxonomy: a forty-year retrospective. Ninety-third yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Pt.2 . , Chicago , IL . , University of Chicago Press.

    and remembering that the Objectives in the Cognitive Domain (the set you are talking about) is only one PART of the whole picture of learning (3 domains) and sadly the others (Affective, Psychomotor) get forgotten about in a focus on this one aspect.

    See Wikipedia for a fast summary…

    “Bloom’s Taxonomy divides educational objectives into three “domains:” Affective, Psychomotor, and Cognitive. Within the taxonomy learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels (Orlich, et al. 2004). A goal of Bloom’s Taxonomy is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains, creating a more HOLISTIC form of education.”

    another fun part of the chapter is how he thanks his lucky stars that of the hundreds of people involved, his name started with B and what was Bloom et al became Bloom’s Taxonomy as though he thought it up all by himself instead of how it actually happened.

    Grab a copy form your local university library and read Bloom’s own words.



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