I think blogging is the new persuasive essay. If we’re trying to prepare our students to think critically and argue well, they need to be able to blog. It allows for interaction. It allows for ideas to be tested. And the best posts anywhere in cyberspace tend to have a point that can be argued.
I think the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrong. I agree that the taxonomy accurately classifies various types of cognitive thinking skills. It certainly identifies the different levels of complexity. But its organizing framework is dead wrong. Here’s what I propose. In the 21st century, we flip Bloom’s taxonomy. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.
While some teachers may wonder about the merits of PBL, I’m sold. My high school students have learned much more in an inquiry classroom than others did when we had a traditional one. PBL allows them to have a say in what they learn and how they present their knowledge. Every semester I’m impressed by the hard work and energy my students pour into their projects. Here’s the story of our biology projects this year.
This exciting and demanding opportunity for my students to serve as ejournalists at Canada’s National Rural Congress is the “exam” I’ve been preparing them for. I think this is the future of education: authentic tasks; embedded, mobile, BYOD technology. What students can memorize and spew back on a Biology or English final has no ability to tell me how they will perform in a high pressure situation like this. But I think they’re up for the task.
I recently blogged about the importance of cultivating a culture where our students are expected to fail sometimes — it’s part of taking risks. We need to do this as teachers too. The first step, of course, is to create a culture of trust and support among teachers, and that’s hard in the midst of high-stakes testing and the publishing of teacher and school rankings. The only way this will happen is if we’re honest.
I’ll go first.