The New Taxonomy

Most teachers will remember Bloom’s Taxonomy from their days in teacher’s college. Our ideal as pedagogues is to bring students from the lower levels of knowledge acquisition and understanding to the higher levels of synthesis and evaluation. Moving through these levels is necessary for critical thinkers.

The original was proposed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom and has been a staple of education theory ever since. The taxonomy is summarized well in this article by David R. Krathwohl who, with a number of colleagues, revised the original in 2001. The revised edition draws a distinction between the lower order goals (remembering) and those of a higher order (cognitive processes).

Now, what to do with all that? The internet is full of suggestions and examples of activities and tasks that students can preform to achieve the different levels of thought proposed by the taxonomy. If you are every stuck for how to augment an activity to get more out of it, I suggest you seek out these readily available resources.

Let me suggest one. This incredible visual developed by Allan Carrington brings the taxonomy into the 21st century. It not only has the original taxonomy and lists of verbs that will help teachers design activities, it also suggests more than twenty apps for each level.

bloom wheel

The idea is that the apps can be utilized to get students to the desired taxonomic level of thought. Want them to activate their creative skills? How about Splice video editor to make a movie? Want them to analyze some data? Use Easychart to make a quick graph.

It is not perfectly clear how to use each of the apps, but it is a starting place for the educator with a case of analysis paralysis. Give it a look. Leave a comment if you find an app that is especially useful.

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