Bloom's Taxonomy Revisited

Bloom’s Taxonomy the foundation for most educators, and education through the last part of the 20th Century looks at Lower-Order Thinking Skills and Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Most educators no matter where they have been educated at one time or another have probably come across Bloom’s Taxonomy. The problem is, created in 1954 does it still apply today? Found on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) web site is a new look at Bloom’s Taxonomy written for the learner of the 21st Century. What does this new taxonomy mean for teaching? Has anything changed? I for one find it refreshing that we have taken this age old educational foundation tool and reworked it to work in a new age. An age where our students are engaged in the Higher-Order Skill of creating more than we realize. They create videos on YouTube, profiles on myspace, and encyclopedias at wikipedia. Our students today are natural creators of information and according to this new taxonomy of Basic Skills are engaged in their own learning at a very high level. However, where do we as an educational system engage students? Reflecting on last year and the majority of what I saw happening in classrooms I would say that education is still focused on the lower-order skills of 1. Remembering 2. Understanding and 3. Applying. When our students, in their personal lives, are already at a level 6. Creating, they come to schools where they feel ‘dumb downed’ or disconnected. This might be the first time that a taxonomy actually shows that we are under teaching our students. The two most missed levels in my experience are levels 4 and 5 Analyze and Evaluate. Some teachers do have students create projects: videos, podcasts, posters, etc, but do we teach students to analyze and evaluate the quality of these product? To me, that is where we need to focus. Our students are already creating, but do they know how to evaluate good creations? I think art does this better then any other subject area. In most art classes you take time to really evaluate and analyze art, looking at color, the angle of light, the texture. Do we spend time like that in other subject areas evaluating and analyzing? Even better on the site is the Cognitive Taxonomy Circle shown below: This is a great place to take 5 minutes to reflect on your teaching. Where do...

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