Bloom’s Taxonomy is the great war-horse of education, but I have to admit that it was one of those things during my teacher training that I understood well enough, but never really had much empathy for. I’m not a great one for diagrams or hierarchies. Life always seems messier, somehow.
However, I do recognise that Bloom’s Taxonomy has helped many teachers focus on ensuring that the higher order thinking skills got a look-in in their classrooms, and for this reason alone, it needs to be applauded. I was quite excited to come across a revision of the taxonomy for the digital age. It is set out below:
Trying to get my head around what this diagram actually means, and how it squares with my teaching practice was an interesting process. As I said, I don’t do diagrams!
Thankfully the diagram uses verbs, and the one thing I’ve learned as a teacher is that teachers do tasks much better than we do aims and objectives. If I have to plan a lesson based on “at the end of the lesson the student will be able to …” I am absolutely useless! In a class of thirty odd students, some of them very odd, you are seldom going to get the happy situation where they all walk out at the end knowing whatever it was that you wanted to teach them! Aims and objectives work well for training, but they are not a good fit in education, especially in subjects like English.
However, I am, and most teachers are, pretty good at setting meaningful tasks that will produce learning situations which we as teachers are pretty good at exploiting. For this purpose the verbs are fantastic! What will the children do in order to be creative? That works, and works well in education.
The following video illustrates the taxonomy at work, using digital tasks.
Figured this way, all you need to do as a teacher is make sure that your students are doing plenty of the verbs across the whole range of the chart, instead of just off the bottom!