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3-1 Bloom’s Taxonomy

August 1, 2010

Source against the way Bloom’s is emphasized
Beyond Bloom’s Taxonomy: Rethinking Knowledge for the Knowledge Age.
C Bereiter, M Scardamalia

Knowledge may be at the lower end of Blooms Taxonomy but according to Bereiter and Scardamalia knowledge is more important than that. Yes, memorizing and storing information in our brains does not require the same amount of thought processes as say analyzing a piece of literature, however, when it comes to adding value to knowledge as an advertising executive does when they take market research and turn it into a marketing plan, without a deep understanding of something (a true knowledge of a subject) these other skills are useless. One can not evaluate something without the knowledge base necessary to truly understand it. Nor can one synthesize information if one does not have a basis on which to work.

Source for the use of Bloom’s
Correlation between Student Performance in Linear Algebra and Categories of a Taxonomy.
Wood, Leigh N.; Smith, Geoffrey H.; Petocz, Peter; Reid, Anna
By looking closely at the way assessments are constructed students can determine what is important to a teacher. Therefore, when creating assessments, we must be careful to weight things accordingly and we must also be sure to include questions which require our students to access the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy if we truly want them to become better mathematical thinkers.  The study was set up to analyze the success rate of students on different level tasks. The authors looked at how students performed on low, medium, and high level tasks in the assessment and recorded their findings. One of the more interesting findings of the paper was that it was possible for a student to score well on the medium and high level tasks while performing poorly on the low level, rote material. THis proved that a student could have a good understanding of the material while still struggling with the routine procedures involved with the subject.

My opinion on the usefulness of Bloom’s in an algebra classroom.

Being a teacher that has been trained in the last 6 years I think it would be blasphemous to bad mouth Bloom. Fortunately, I would never speak ill of the glorious taxonomy. I really do like the idea behind it and what it tries to do with the way we teach students. In algebra, we should always strive to have our students reach the higher levels of Bloom’s. Dan Meyer lays a good foundation for this type of work in his talk that we watched earlier in the course. By giving our students fewer scaffolds and requiring more from them we will get to the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy and hopefully whet our students appetites for more challenging math problems in the future.

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