The most fundamental and important components of what you’re teaching are at the very bottom—the cornerstone around which everything else is constructed. Up until you reach the highest feasible level, each level depends on the one below and gets deeper, more difficult, and intellectually taxing.
This is basic form of Bloom’s Taxonomy in curriculum planning: a system for classifying and arranging educational objectives and performance into hierarchical categories. The fact that it supports teachers in K–12 in mapping their curriculum, planning lessons, posing questions, assigning tasks, and assessing students’ learning—from the fundamental to the complex—all while being in line with precise, quantifiable learning objectives—has kept it popular despite the fact that it was first published in 1956.
So how does Bloom’s Taxonomy operate and how might it enhance classroom instruction? Together, let’s climb the pyramid.
What’s Bloom’s Taxonomy?
The classification system known as Bloom’s taxonomy is used to define and classify the various stages of thinking, learning, and comprehending in humans. Bloom’s taxonomy has traditionally been used by educators to inform or direct the construction of curricula (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), assessments (tests and other evaluations of student learning), and instructional approaches including questioning techniques.
Levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
In Bloom’s Taxonomy, there are six categories of knowledge: Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create. Deeper, more intricate, and more cognitively taxing knowledge and skills develop as you advance up the framework.
The breakdown is as follows:
Students are able to identify and recall fundamental facts, ideas, procedures, patterns, structures, and contexts. At this level, teachers can encourage children to recall geometric formulas, recite a poetry from a textbook, or name the nations that make up a continent.
Students translate the significance and meaning behind ideas, facts, and concepts so they can explain them to others. Students at this level can categorize various animals or describe a story’s essential points.
Students apply their newly acquired information or abilities in novel contexts or circumstances. At this level, students can be asked to use mathematical ideas to establish a budget, write a column of advice for a fictional character, or paint in a specific aesthetic style.
Students dissect ideas into their constituent elements and determine the relationships between them. Students at this level might separate fact from opinion in a newspaper, dissect a machine’s operation, or spot logical flaws in an argument.
Students assess a situation, express an opinion, and defend it using the knowledge and abilities they have already acquired. At this level, students can choose the optimum vitamin C source for their diet or assess the usefulness of new technology in a certain situation.
Students formulate their own answers to questions and produce unique work. At this level, instructors may assign students to create their own poem, a business plan for a startup, or a machine to solve a problem.
Bloom’s Taxonomy in Curriculum Planning
Start by Establishing Better Goals:
The one area where Bloom’s Taxonomy really excels is in the writing of classroom outcomes. Why? Because it ties dependencies on knowledge and skill levels that support those objectives with particular, observable actions that signal learning.
And it’s flexible enough to carry out that work on several levels:
- Curriculum: What should students know or be able to do at the end of this year? is a question that Bloom’s Taxonomy helps answer. These results will most likely be in line with criteria for the grade.
- Units: To further break things down, Bloom’s Taxonomy considers the behaviors by which students will demonstrate mastery of the topic they are studying before they are prepared to move on to the next one, which aids in the creation and linking of unit plans.
- Lessons: In order to complement the objectives of a broader unit or curriculum, Bloom’s Taxonomy can also be used to map student learning inside a single lesson or between classes. It can also be a useful tool for choosing and organizing the educational activities that are conducted in each class.
How to Apply Bloom’s Taxonomy
No matter the outcome, we may offer the following advice for authoring it:
- Only use one observable, behavior-focused verb for each consequence. The more precisely you specify what “mastery” is and how quantitative it is, the easier it will be to compare student progress to your goals.
- Verify that the verbs you are using are appropriate for each taxonomic level. For instance, you can anticipate students at the Apply level to be able to do everything at Understand and Remember as well… but not Evaluate or Create.
- Prefer higher-level results over lower-level ones as little as possible. After all, deep learning requires a solid base. Before we can comprehend a notion, we must first recall it, and before we can apply a concept in a meaningful way, we must first comprehend it.
- Instead of focusing on the topics that will be covered in class, describe outcomes in terms of what students will learn. What competencies will students show, and how well? What inquiries can they respond to?
Benefits of the Bloom’s Taxonomy
The developers of Bloom’s Taxonomy set out to create it in order to evaluate college student performance more accurately. Beyond only evaluation, however, teachers rapidly discovered that it was helpful in structuring and planning instruction in classes at all levels:
Having specific, measurable goals for the classroom:
The taxonomy focuses on observable behaviors that show student learning within a particular lesson, unit, or curriculum as a whole because all six stages and the requirements under each are articulated as verbs.
Putting standards in a curriculum’s proper order:
Which standards, and in what order, should you address them? By comparing which standards are more closely aligned with lower-level stages like Remember and Understand to those that are more strongly aligned with higher-level stages like Analyze and Create, this framework helps outline the order of learning in curriculum maps, unit plans, and lesson plans.
Creating suitable assessments:
The most successful questions for children at the Remember level might be multiple-choice or true-false ones, but an essay? Not the best strategy, probably. With the use of this framework, teachers may better create tests that represent students’ current knowledge and skills as well as what they should be able to do.
Overcoming a Knowledge Gap:
The most effective learning activities, textbooks, and exams can be chosen by considering where students are in their learning process and where they should be by the conclusion of the lesson, unit, or grade level.
Working together with other educators:
When pupils switch between subjects or advance to the following grade, how will learning proceed? Bloom’s Taxonomy offers a framework or scaffolding for learning that can assist in establishing expectations for growth over the course of a student’s whole academic career at your institution.
Implementing the Bloom’s Taxonomy in your classroom
What does Bloom’s Taxonomy look like in practice when it is successfully applied in a classroom? Here is an example of how each section of a curriculum map incorporates it:
- Standard”: Match the standards you are teaching to the correct taxonomy level.
- Sequencing: Arrange your criteria so that they progress annually from lower levels to higher levels.
- Content: Plan your main ideas, information, and events as you progress from fundamental to higher-level reasoning.
- Skills: Use verbs that correspond to the correct taxonomy level to describe what pupils should be able to do by the end of the year.
- Assessments: Assess student learning using techniques that correspond to the difficulty of each level; for instance, at the Understand level, multiple-choice tests are preferable over essay-style tasks.
- Activities: Plan in-class activities that advance students’ understanding and mastery while advancing them gradually from one level to the next.
- Resources: Make wise choices when selecting worksheets, guides, movies, textbooks, etc. that correspond to the students’ current proficiency and future goals.
- Basic inquiries: By posing questions at the conclusion of class that reflect students’ comprehension of the material and their advancement toward your aims, you can determine whether they have attained the class objectives.
- Timelines: The time it will take to advance students from one level of knowledge or competence to the next should be taken into account.
- Pacing: A pacing chart can assist in ensuring that students advance through the taxonomy and meet the deadlines you’ve established.
- Units: Your unit plan’s taxonomy can be used to specify how you’ll progress from topic to topic over time.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bloom’s Taxonomy
What level of Bloom’s taxonomy is the most crucial?
Create Level. Creating entails combining pieces to produce a logical or practical whole. Rearranging pieces into a fresh pattern or framework is a part of creating. The highest and most complex level of Bloom's Taxonomy is this one.
What is Bloom’s taxonomy’s primary goal?
To give teachers a common vocabulary to discuss and exchange teaching and evaluation strategies, Bloom's taxonomy was created. The taxonomy can be used to determine specific learning outcomes, although it is most frequently employed to evaluate learning on various cognitive levels.
When did Bloom’s Taxonomy first appear?
A framework for classifying educational objectives was published in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom along with Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl. The title of the framework is Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.
What is used as a substitute for Bloom’s Taxonomy?
The SOLO Taxonomy is a popular replacement for Blooms' Cognitive Domain in higher education. It has been utilized not just to help with defining learning objectives but also to classify responses and is frequently used in evaluation criteria.
However, Bloom’s Taxonomy isn’t always the best approach; some have argued that it pushes teachers to prioritize higher-order levels over lower-order levels or that it causes students to focus on higher-order levels without understanding why.
However, its greatest usefulness is its adaptability. It helps to ensure that our students will recall, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create their way to mastery by viewing Bloom’s Taxonomy as a tool in our teaching toolboxes or as a framework off of which we can hang lessons, learning activities, units, or entire curricula.
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