Teacher Shelley Wright is on leave from her classroom, working with teachers in a half-dozen high schools to promote inquiry and connected learning.
I think the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrong.
Hear me out. I know this statement sounds heretical in the realms of education, but I think this is something we should rethink, especially since it is so widely taught to pre-service teachers. 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 why.
Old-school Blooms: Arduous climb for learners
Conceived in 1956 by a group of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom, the taxonomy classifies skills from least to most complex. The presentation of the Taxonomy (in both the original and revised versions) as a pyramid suggests that one cannot effectively begin to address higher levels of thinking until those below them have been thoroughly addressed. Consequently (at least in the view of many teachers who learned the taxonomy as part of their college training) Blooms becomes a “step pyramid” that one must arduously try to climb with your learners. Only the most academically adept are likely to reach the pinnacle. That’s the way I was taught it.
Many teachers in many classrooms spend the majority of their time in the basement of the taxonomy, never really addressing or developing the higher order thinking skills that kids need to develop. We end up with rote and boring classrooms. Rote and boring curriculum. Much of today’s standardized testing rigorously tests the basement, further anchoring the focus of learning at the bottom steps, which is not beneficial for our students.
I dislike the pyramid because it creates the impression that there is a scarcity of creativity — only those who can traverse the bottom levels and reach the summit can be creative. And while this may be how it plays out in many schools, it’s not due to any shortage of creative potential on the part of our students.
I think the narrowing pyramid also posits that our students need a lot more focus on factual knowledge than creativity, or analyzing, or evaluating and applying what they’ve learned. And in a Google-world, it’s just not true.
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.
Blooms 21: Let’s put Creating at the forefront
In media studies we often look at the creation of print and digital advertisements. Traditionally, students learn many of the foundational principles for creating a layout through a lecture or text book reading, and then eventually create their own.
What if we started with creativity rather than principles? My students start with the standard elements of an advertisement (product photo, copy, logo etc.) and create a mockup. Then students evaluate their mock-up by comparing their ads to a few professional examples and discuss what they did right and wrong in comparison to what they’ve seen.
As students are pointing out design elements that work, we begin to analyze for similarities and divide them accordingly into groups. Most will likely fall into the four design principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. At this point, students compile their findings as a class, and only then are the four design principles formally introduced.
Now students can apply what they’ve learned as they return to their own mock-up and fix elements based on the design principles they’ve begun to absorb.
Finally, students research the four design principles to flesh out their understanding where needed, and possibly correct any misconceptions. From this research, students create their own graphic organizer of the four design principles for future reference and to help them remember. We started with creativity and ended with the knowledge my students have curated. They’ve been engaged with the entire process from start to finish, and my students have make some significant decisions about the essential knowledge they need.
Blooms 21 works great in science
Not only does flipping Blooms work for classes like media studies, it also blends beautifully with my inquiry-based Chemistry class.
As we study science, I’ve come to realize that it’s very important for my students to encounter a concept before fully understanding what’s going on. It makes their brain try to fill in the gaps, and the more churn a brain experiences, the more likely it’s going to retain information.
When we study ionic compounds, we start with a lab. My students begin by creating conductivity testers out of tin foil, batteries, and mini Christmas lights. Students then create their own lab and test 10-12 different substances, from salt water, to HCL, to sugar water, to check which substances conduct electricity. Usually, about half of the solutions provided do.
I have them compare their findings to how scientists usually categorize these solutions. Sometimes, solutions that are supposed to conduct electricity, don’t. So providing the results of experts helps them to have more confidence in their own results.
However, it’s not enough to discover which substances conduct electricity. I want them to try to figure out why. With the results my students have obtained, they analyze their findings. By dividing the solutions into appropriate categories, students often discern that the solutions that conduct electricity are made up of two elements and the elements combined are found on opposite sides of the periodic table, such as NaCl. They also realize that solutions that don’t conduct, such as sugar, are usually made of elements found on the same side of the table.
Once they begin to analyze each solution’s makeup more closely, they tend to realize that conductive solutions are, for the most part, made up of a metal and non-metal, whereas solutions that don’t conduct usually don’t contain any metals. Once they’ve exhausted this activity, I introduce the concepts of ionic and covalent bonds to label each category.
Then students re-evaluate their own findings and apply their learning by fixing elements in their categorization system.
At this point, my students research ionic and covalent bonds, either through cooperative research, or by using the flipped classroom model, to fill out their findings with information about the characteristics of each type of bond, such as malleability, boiling and melting points, etc. They’re essentially creating their own notes.
And in English class . . .
Flipping Blooms — putting Creating, Evaluating, Analyzing and Applying first — also works in English. From what I can tell, it’s likely the easiest route to creating a flipped English classroom. In the past, I’ve struggled to teach my students concepts such as grammar rules and abstract ideas like voice. Flipping Blooms makes this much easier.
I begin with having my students write a paragraph, either in response to a prompt or their own free writing. Next, students, working in small groups or pairs, evaluate several master texts for the criteria we’re working on. How does the writer use punctuation or voice in a particular text? What similarities are there between texts? Students then compare their own writing with each text. What did they do correctly or well? How does their writing differ and to what effect?
As a class, or in their groups, we analyze the pieces for similarities and differences and group them accordingly. Only then do I introduce the concept of run-on sentences, comma splices, and fragments. Essentially, through this process, my students identify the criteria for good writing. From this, we’re able to co-construct criteria and rubrics for summative assessments.
Students then apply what they’ve learned by returning to their own writing. They change elements based on the ideas they’ve encountered.
Students further their understanding by either listening to a podcast, or engaging in their own research of grammar rules. Finally, as the knowledge piece, students create a graphic organizer/infographic or a screencast that identifies the language rules they’ve learned.
I think the best flipped classrooms work because they spend most of their time creating, evaluating and analyzing. In a sense we’re creating the churn, the friction for the brain, rather than solely focusing on acquiring rote knowledge. The flipped classroom approach is not about watching videos. It’s about students being actively involved in their own learning and creating content in the structure that is most meaningful for them.
Blooms 21 actively places learning where it should be, in the hands of the learner.
Photo: Lecates, Creative Commons
Art: Chris Davis, Powerful Learning Practice LLC
Latest posts by Shelley Wright (see all)
- Start with Why: The power of student-driven learning - May 8, 2019
- Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement? - August 26, 2014
- Academic Teaching Doesn't Prepare Students for Life - November 7, 2013
I don’t know if you are 100% right, but I am going to study and think about this very deeply and my sense is that you have just hit a home run. Here is where we KNOW you are right: you have to start with creating an environment where the student becomes engaged. Miss that and game over. I am not sure about the subsequent relationships as you work up the reversed pyramid, but I hope this starts a huge discussion.
I think there are two paths to parse here, and I know I will be writing about this on my blog in the next day or so because you have turned a big rock over. The one path is teaching students that which they are capable of learning; giving them the first tools so they can handle the second tools. That is what I thought Bloom’s was all about.
The second path is how to engage students in a way that they will actually go down the path with you. I think that is a very different thing; that is what my book. The Falconer, is all about. Will Tweet when I make my comments, and will give you all the credit. Great, provocative essay!
Thanks for reading! When I think of my own teaching, I realize that for too long, I did for my students what they should have done for themselves. I was too helpful, and didn’t let them struggle in places where they should have. I gave them all the information and they retained little.
Teaching this way helps to rekindle the curiousity many of my students have lost by the time they reach grade 10. Showing kids a gap in their knowledge drives curiousity. I’m constantly looking for answers that matter to me, and I hope this type of classroom creates the same environment for my students.
Shelley you are right and right up my street
I agree Wright’s thought.
To my mind, the higher-order thinking can be developed starting by creating first something, and then go through step by step Bloom’s taxonomy and achieving a critical-thinking method.
Learning at work is a good method to apply Wright’s model.
If we compare how girls and boys may learn, we can argue that boys learn a better way, if and when they create something.
I’m studying on this topic. May you send me your refrences? or your base essay?!
Like Grant, I’m going to think very hard about your idea. My gut reaction is that this lines up with what I’ve seen play out in my own English classroom over many years, with many types and ages of students–up to adults.
We do know, from extensive research and hard experience, that trying to force feed students at the bottom of the pyramid before “allowing” them to advance to higher levels of thinking is not only counterproductive but discriminatory. Want to see what others think about this concept.
Interesting post. I am not a teacher. It seems Bloom’s Taxonomy is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If this is the case (is it) then I have a question. In order for you to do what you suggested above, how much knowledge are you assuming the students have in order to be ready for your exercises? Would this approach work in the early grades – say as early as kindergarten? It seems to me the students still need to have a good (strong?) comprehension of foundational knowledge in order to be able to start with creativity. Just curious as to when that knowledge should be obtained in order to flip the pyramid. Thank you!
I think many young children do this well, except we call it play. Play-based classrooms focus on student’s learning through interactions, encountering different types of materials, and learning how the natural and created world works through experiential learning. The Reggio Emilia approach is one way.
Then as students get older, we give them work sheets and notes and make them sit in rows, while teacher talk dominates the classroom. I’m not sure why we do this.
I think children naturally learn like this, by encountering and creating things first. How they do the research might need to be scaffolded or look different. When students are learning about magnets in early elementary they can manipulate them first and categorize what is magnetic and what is not, and then derive commonalities from those observations. From there they create a hypothesis and create their own experiment to test their ideas.
We do this row, worksheets and lecture thing because education has moved into the high risk test evaluation mode. In the age of 40 minute middle school periods, there is very little time to turn 20-25 students loose to encounter and create on their own, more often at the middle school, it turns into a social event for most. In theory I would love to give them more time to explore on their own, but without a county wide, state wide, and federal wide change in testing standards, I fear this will be very hard to implement. This is much easier in the lower grades where students have less peer pressure to be socially “cool”.
I agree with Bradley.
I am also an educator and I think the system of Shelley is great. It develops a child’s creativity. But I doubt to what extent this can be done on pupils.
For example, when they are given to try on a creative task/essay, I am often returned with empty pages. I think some basic knowledge must first be inculcated to them , at least so that the students know what is being sought. I think the concepts must first be explained, then the students experience them and ultimately, the students re-explain the concept in terms of a class presentation possibly. What do you think?
Great if I can have the opinion of others.
Without a foundation of knowledge, it is impossible to hit one important higher order thinking activities. First they must know the principles of government and then they can build a better and improved version. With time constraints, we are sometimes forced to introduce material without ever really exposing them to the top tiers of the taxonomy. Not always the teacher’s fault but rather the nature of the beast.
Amen! This philosophy sounds a lot like the original Maria Montessori philosophy. As a veteran teacher of elementary school, I agree. Students need to explore first and then make assumptions of discovery. However, with the Common Core Standards, benchmarks, and standardized testing dates, there isn’t enough time to teach a discovery philosophy.
PBL, Inquiry, Question Hierarchies, Minds ON, Engaging learners, Connections to learning, Practice (10000hr Gladwell) – lots to think about.
Looking at Bloom’s as a static step ladder is not how I see it. It’s interactive and a learner can be anywhere on the pyramid, at any time during the learning process. When we can take new learning and apply it in a new situation it’s part of our making meaning construct and that’s real learning. I call what you call as a ‘minds on’ the engagement piece for the learner. It’s good pedagogy, it’s inclusive, it’s the hook…
Promote questions, inquiry, and the creativity is there.
This is the key to authentic learning isn’t it?
Hello all, I am a retired 45 years in the Trades, but now fulfilling my dream to teach. My SOC class is on this subject of Maslow/Bloom, and he is talking Bloom first and foremost and “then maybe” Maslow. But Bloom by itself (to me) seems to lack empathy for social interactions with kids and goes straight to “the project.” Sheely’s idea of flipping Bloom seems to automatically add Maslow also by kids bouncing ideas off of each other to ascend the pyramid. Am I incorrect in this vision because I like this idea.
Another Voices blogger, Kathy Cassidy, is using some of these same principles with her first graders. You can browse her articles here: http://plpnetwork.com/author/kathy-cassidy/
Kathy and Shelley are both from the vicinity of Moose Jaw, Canada. Maybe that’s how their interest in inquiry learning began: “Why in the world is this town called Moose Jaw?” 🙂
Well done post and a great concept. I am workplace learning and performance professional (in other words, a corporate trainer) and we too refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy quite a bit. I have three take-aways from your post:
1) “Flipping Bloom’s” works well with adult learners, too.
2) Any theoretical structure that’s been widely used for such a long time is due for an occasional challenge.
3) I think the pyramid is wrong, no matter which direction you go. You made a great point about “stepping.” Even when you flip it, there’s still an implication that learning is “stepped”. Why not zig-zag?
Thanks! I agree. I think you could go back and forth between steps, sometimes miss steps. It’s really what’s best for the learner.
Refreshing! I too take exception with Blooms but possibly for a different reason. In my view, thinking is anything but hierarchical, it’s circuitous and unpredictable. Placing our thoughts on some kind of inclined plane doesn’t even begin to describe what goes on inside the minds of our students.
Teacher evaluators seem to be on a quest to discover Blooms in action. In the classroom, do we know higher order thinking when we see it or hear it? Personally, I think it’s like looking for the emperor’s new clothes. Watching and listening, we see only what we think we know is there.
Give a child food for thought and their brain will hunger for more.
I agree. I think there’s a lot of back and forth between different types of thinking, and it takes awhile for higher order thinking to emerge, especially since our kids our so used to producing rote knowledge.
First of all, you sound as a very knowledgeable and passionate teacher!
I’d like to comment on the presence of rote knowledge in today’s classroom that you have mentioned. I am surprised that so many American students don’t know multiplication table! We cannot and shouldn’t allow our students to use calculators when it comes to multiplication, or division of basic numbers! Memorization matters for the brain power too!
As a former Russian student, I learned my tables by heart, and I still remember them, and frankly, the knowledge has helped me a lot in real life.
In conclusion, there are cases when you have to flip that pyramid, and there are cases when you shouldn’t, though. It all depends, especially, if you work with English Language Learners!
I also agree, if we look at the underpinning of another model, Kolbs learning cycle we can see this at work!
I do think this is a fantastic start to understanding how to practically apply Blooms model in a practical context. I will certainly try and consider this as I develop our adult skills learning curriculum and framework.
By the way has anyone ever heard of someone integrated Blooms with the CEFR? (Common European Framework of Reference) for language skills acquisition. It’s what I’m trying to do now but as far as I can see there’s no existing materials on this.
Keep up the great work!
Hi there, Great post as always. You explain the logistics on how you run a classroom incorporating many of the things many folks talk about without always stressing how. I agree with your flipped taxonomy, but have one question. Why did you flip the actual pyramid with the skills? I would have thought that creativity would be the foundation of all learning?
I had to laugh when I read your comment. Putting creativity as the base, and reversing the taxonomy in the pyramid, was the original concept for the graphic, but fitting the word knowledge in the little triangle at the top proved really difficult! So we went to plan B.
The graphic was fun to think about – we suspected that “flipping” the pyramid would get the conversation started. It would be fun for folks to brainstorm about a new metaphorical object. Something that zigzags? The stone pyramid hints at our ironic outlook on the stepped approach!
John the Voices editor
Well Shelley, that was very creative… 🙂 Realistically… a graphic is simply a graphic… its the discussion that is worth while. How we change whats happening in the classroom is the true value. 🙂 thanks again for sharing! Your post will initiate lots of dialogue in my board.
Thanks, I appreciate you sharing my work!
Its also interesting that some gasp at the thought of starting with a lab. Yet… this is what science is in the real world. Organizing, categorizing and learning based on experimentation. All research starts with an experiment. By taking that away, spoon feeding students the material for 3 weeks before investigating, we take away the magic of determining or figuring things out.
I would like to actually count the number of effective teachers that ever followed the “pyramid” model, or any model strictly to the letter or shape. I would say that the great majority have been zig-zagging around depending on the individual needs of each student and class. We mostly use these ideas as “food for thought”, and let our classes determine how strictly we adhere to the model.
Gradual release of responsibility is embedded into my T & L. Inquiry and questioning and reflection are key foundations.
I like to think of Bloom’s as a color wheel where each different level of blooms is an equal size pie-shaped piece where we find a balance of all levels. In reality, like colors on a painter’s palate, our learning activities borrow some from this color and some from that color and at times a bit more of this color than that, etc. All pieces of the pie have their place in learning.
That said, I love the analogy of flipping Bloom’s and putting creating at the forefront! There’s a lot to be said for students as knowledge and media creators, sharing what they know and how they feel with others and building off each other’s ideas in back-and-forth continuous exchanges where knowledge is constructed, deconstructed, and reconstructed.
Great post! Thanks for the thought-provoking ideas from a passionate educator!
Thanks for reading! I like this framework because it allows students to create, experiment and fail, to hear each others voices, and learn to trust their own ability to learn.
But it’s still just a framework, while it might guide what happens in our classroom, it shouldn’t rule over it. Like many have pointed out, learning and thinking aren’t linear, and I think your color wheel concept is a good one.
Extremely interesting and insightful post. I will definitely experiment with you idea in my classroom and get feedback from the participants. In essence, it sounds a little like a test-teach-test approach to skills. I like it.
Coincidentally, I also recently blogged about Bloom’s Taxonomy, but from a very different point of view. I work as an in-company trainer in Germany. I would love to hear your thoughts…
Thanks again for the great post.
Thanks! Let us know how it goes!
Really like this post. I too have struggled with the original concept of Bloom’s levels. My personal finance class is working on credit reports right now. Before I “lecture” them to death, I am having them create a jingle or comic strip about credit reports. They have to learn the terminology and other lower level components to produce the end product…wrapping Blooms all into one activity. Like you, I will then come back and review/analyze the specifics!! Thanks for the post!
Great idea, Todd! I think students learn more when they’re engaged in the process, and truly enjoy the learning experience.
I love the idea of flipping Blooms! I agree that the emphasis on Blooms as a pyramid where you need to complete each level before attaining the next is not ideal. I was excited when the taxonomy was revised, and now I am even more excited by this well thought out idea! Creating SHOULD be the first step. Students involved in learning activities such as PBL benefit most from not being “told” the answer, but by “discovering” and “creating” new answers that don’t fit the traditional paradigms we tend to be stuck with!
The traditional pyramidal representation of the [original as well as revised] Bloom’s taxonomy has always made me mad because it is simplistic and misleading. Unfortunately, it is probably the easiest thing to remember about the taxonomy.
Kathy (May 15 post) points out that thinking is anything but hierarchical. I do not disagree, but I believe the whole point of the taxonomy is to help teacher/learners to recognize that there is a hierarchy of cognitive processes (not thinking activities)–and it is important to create environments and facilitate learning activities that prompt learners to engage higher order thinking skills.
Thanks for flipping our perspective(s), Shelley.
Thanks for reading!
Congratulation Shelley! This is a great idea about learning. I am a teacher, but I think your idea about bloom taxonomy is a natural way for learners. We need to find ways to encourage our students’ creativity, but creativity is a natural process of exploring reality. Sorry for my english. I am a VET teacher, not english teacher :). This approach encourages student involvement in learning and this is the key. It is an approach which improves student motivation. In 21st century information is everywhere, but creativity is within each of us, so it is natural to start with what we already have within us.
Hi Nicoleta, Thanks for writing!
Last week I had the opportunity to hear and speak with Dr. Jean Clinton. She teaches at McMaster University in the medical program, and it’s all inquiry, problem-based. Instead, of students sitting through long lectures about the heart and respiratory system, and taking notes, students are given medical problems they need to solve.
In a collaborative team, they obviously need to learn a fair amount about how the system works to be able to diagnose and offer treatment solutions. What an engaging way to learn!
Shelley, perhaps the time is now for a shift to inquiry/problem-based learning in all levels of education. An example I can think of is I gave my students a list of key academic vocabulary and asked them to describe what the word meant using play-doh to create something that represented that word. This is a very basic example, of course, but it demonstrated in a very real way in my own classroom that the students understood the word far better than if I had simply given them a definition or a context clue activity.
I agree. I think too often students are asked to tell us what they know, rather than show us what they know, and sometimes there’s a big difference between the two.
I know in my current job, and when I was teaching, I learned by inquiry, by being immersed in the learning, and following things I’m passionate about.
This idea makes a lot of sense given that students are much more likely to remember concepts that they discover themselves than concepts that someone tells them about.
I’m wondering… what kinds of guiding questions do you ask students when they are analyzing print ads to find design elements that work? Any chance you’d be willing to share your plan for that activity?
It’s been about 4 years since I’ve taught the media studies unit, which was before I started creating guiding questions with my students. But if I were to teach it now, we’d likely create questions around how do visuals communicate information effectively? What visual elements detract from or distract communication.
Once we’ve done an initial activity like this, students might create more specific sub-questions to follow.
I am an interdisciplinary teacher who has taught middle school science for several years, though I have taught chemistry, math and English as well. I just attended a workshop on Design Thinking which made the same point. Inquiry learning, play-based classroom, etc… they all overlap, just using different jargon and variations in strategy. They all seek to have students doing the work and asking the key questions, and teachers supporting the learning process.
Shelley, I was especially captured by your description of the lab on ionic and covalent solutions, since I just finished a rather less successful attempt at the same goal. I am definitely going to adapt my existing lab for next year. (And if you are willing to share any of your materials, or even just your list of favorite solutions, Shelley, that would be wonderful!)
Thanks for the great ideas, everyone.
Benjamin Bloom and his collaborators and contributors since did NOT intend to dictate the taxonomy as a linear model. Instead, it is a representation of how we process. The method proposed here does not re- imagine the model. Students still have to know and comprehend vocabulary terms, basic concepts and sort them out. A teacher can ” start” anyplace in the taxonomy. The real learning takes place in the product and feedback the student receives. For example, there is a big difference between the outcome of application (solving a problem) and analysis (reimagining a new solution). This plan has merit, but is not a re- purposing of the Taxonomy.
Shelley’s story of how she was taught to interpret Blooms and use it in her lesson planning and approach to teaching appears to be a common one. Perhaps other teachers could comment. If so, we might wonder why this happens in some teacher ed programs. If a large number of teachers are interpreting Blooms as “steps” then it becomes a de facto linear model, whatever “Bloom and his collaborators and contributors” originally intended. THAT’S why this discussion is important.
From what I can tell, Bloom set out to categorize different types of thinking skills. However, since then, it’s largely been taught as a set of steps, and that most should start at the bottom.
What I’ve tried to do here is help teachers re-imagine the possibilities for using this framework. Starting with creativity and moving towards discerning knowledge. But in all honesty, I think you can start at any of the upper levels. In my classroom, we don’t always follow the format outlined. Often there are serendipitous moments that take us some place unexpected and that’s where extraordinary learning occurs.
I do think we need to give more responsibility for the learning to our students, so that they’re active participants in constructing their knowledge. I think this post outlines one way to do that.
Two former students of Bloom, Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl, convened a working group and published a new version of the taxonomy in 2001. The revised one challenges the notion that these processes are somehow sequenced and promotes the idea that the processes can be learned at the same time, or even in reverse order. I wrote about it some here: http://www.educationsector.org/publications/measuring-skills-21st-century
I think, often, because the skills are pictured in a pyramid many have believed they are sequential. Maybe a different graphic would have been better.
I think it’s time for us to think about thinking differently. The graphic to me really doesn’t matter.
I think this provides a structure for students to encounter a concept, rather than having a bunch of information handed to them. I don’t think teachers should be using this for everything. To be honest, I don’t use it for everything. What I try to provide for my students is different ways to encounter learning.
Fantastic article and thank you for helping me understand what I have been doing is right all this time and being questioned by my colleagues.
My thoughts are akin to this is the question of why my students are always undertaking on ‘real-projects’ and having great outcomes, to me its because of engaging them in what they will be required to do when they finally leave my training environment and go and get a job.
Have passed this on to a few other people ‘who get it’ with some seriously good and positive reactions.
Thanks, Keith! I think the nice thing about running this through Bloom’s is it provides teachers a framework for thinking about what many teachers, like yourself, are already doing in their classrooms. For me, it helps to draw my attention to the “thinking” environment I’m creating in my classroom.
This is so interesting! More so because I’ve been constructions in geometry to my Fifth graders. I started the unit even though I knew some kids had very less prior knowledge in terms of the vocabulary, concepts and skills. Interestingly the same kids are able to fill in these knowledge gaps while doing the projects. For example, we learnt what the different types of triangles are called (equilateral, isosceles and scalene) after after creating and analyzing them.
I think the reverse bloom’s fits in very well with inquiry based learning.
Here is my blog post on the same:
Archana – great examples of the inquiry work your students are doing. And I loved your slides at the top, demonstrating the diversity of learners in all classrooms!
Shelley’s concept speaks quite clearly to answering the question of how to best support the net generation. When Shelley says “Blooms 21 actively places learning where it should be, in the hands of the learner” she is making a clear argument for a student-centered learning environment where critical thinking is not something that happens once every couple weeks but is the norm for every day in the classroom. I not only commend Shelley for this post but am also eager for the days when Blooms 21 is the norm and the standard to which teaching and assessment is held.
Thanks, Beth! I too look forward to the day the student-centred classroom is the norm.
Interesting idea, but I disagree that Bloom’s has “largely been taught as a set of steps, and that most should start at the bottom.”
Most educators realize that it is a series of cognitive processes and any learner moves up and down (sometimes multiple times!) the triangle as they garner new knowledge.
And I truly believe that one has to have a knowledge base in a topic to create something, and that would mean experience with remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, and evaluating.
Now, I DO believe the triangle moniker can be improved upon. I think it might look more meaningful as something like this: http://kathyschrock.net/storage/blooms_gears.jpg
Just my 2 cents worth! Thanks for spurring on the conversation and causing us to reflect!
I love the Bloom’s gears graphic! I think it’s an excellent depiction of creativity in action.
I agree with your comment and think that graphic is wonderful.
It appears to me that there are a couple of issues going on here. First, it appears people are stuck on the graphical representation of the process as a pyramid. Because of this, Bloom’s Taxonomy is misinterpreted as a series of steps that must be taken sequentially.
Second, it seems that the “what” is being mistaken for the “how”. Just because remembering is the first “step”, that doesn’t mean that this is the only activity that is taken to accomplish this. How sad this is if indeed how children are being taught.
As someone who was explicitly taught Bloom’s Taxonomy in the early 80s, this is not the approach my teachers took. It was a very creative environment where discovery, exploration and creativity were used to start the process – as your graphic depicts.
Wholeheartedly agree. Skills associated with any particular Bloom’s level is accomplished through teaching that targets multiple Bloom’s levels.
I look forward to the day when a classroom features both student-centered and teacher-centered learning.
Over the last year, I and my graduate students in the School of Library and Info. Science at San Jose State University have developed what we call Book2Cloud. These are complex texts that are divided among the class and student curate around a piece or part of the text and then put it all together. Interesting how your ideas actually work very very well in this environment. Comments from anyone appreciated.
Sorry. I forgot to give you the url. Book2Cloud with many free examples in social studies literature are available as Google templates ready for anyone to pull down, rename, and use. They are at: https://sites.google.com/site/book2cloud/
Your take on Bloom’s suprises me, because I guess I always thought of it and used it in the classroom as “flipped”. I had understood the key concept to be that the highest levels, creating, evaluating, and analyzing, contain the other steps within them. So I usually start with the upper 3 because they’re more interesting and engaging, both to kids and adults. Then I find that learners are better inspired and to use the lower 3 to develop a knowledge and skill base.
In theory, I think this is a great approach. The only problem is that it will not work with every type of learner. What happens to the children that learn best by reading the material? Or the children that need to understand the big picture in order to assimilate everything else?
I agree. I think there are very few approaches that work with every learner. Instead, this is just one more framework to use in our repertoire of classroom tools.
For children who learn best by reading, this framework certainly has that. When students are researching the topic of choice, those who learn best by reading, can read. Students who are visual or auditory can learn with videos instead.
An interesting idea and has lots of value though it seems there are areas of learning that require prior knowledge, accessed either through a media or a person. I only saw your post today via another blog but struck me that it’s not far off what I was talking about at an ICT conference in Ireland last Saturday http://www.elearnium.com/2012/05/part1.html
I think a lot of us are talking about the same thing, but using different ways and frameworks to describe it. Essentially, having kids engaged with their learning and creating it as they go.
But I certainly don’t use it for everything. There are chemical concepts, such as stoichiometry calculations that need prior knowledge. However, I still find ways for my students to acquire the knowledge on their own and work at their own pace, rather than lecture and drill & kill 🙂
Shelley, I see the validity of your idea(s)… but let me make this suggestion.
1. Use Bloom’s, inverted (as you discuss) for the creation/process portion of an assignment. Students know they have been taught to ‘learn what an instructor wants’ – and they’ve learned it quite well. This kind of learning becomes dry, rote, and just plain bad much of the time. If, instead, we had our students begin with the create to get ideas going, continue with ‘evaluate’ to consider what aspects, if any, of the creation level might work, ‘analyze’ possibilities with research, ‘apply’ their ideas in a very specific focus, ‘understand’ what they need to know, and ‘remember’ it… they could – then –
2. Flip it back to create the writing portion of it: showing their knowledge and comprehension of their specific issue focus to their readers, show application, analyze (prove, show evidence) why they think it will work, and create a possible solution or detail their new idea.
Wow this is a great take on something that traditionalists and progressives take for granted. And thanks for breaking it down into Science vs. Language Arts (to use American terms). We lean on these to create lesson plans, write goals for graduation, break down test data, etc.
But pyramids have been wrong before! Look at the Food Pyramid, that was all about carbs! We have turned that on its head and realized that fruits and veggies should “dominate our plate.” A colleague sent your blog post to me and I had to first wade through other posts to see if you were credible, and, well, funny, so when I discovered you passed both of those tests, I gave your Bloom’s post more weight. Ah, ever the researcher I am, or at least, I read like a researcher, huh? I have worked as a consultant at a few private schools that are very structure-less, and they flip to an extreme. Everything is “discovery learning” and no structure is provided, so they brought me in to find out why so many students couldn’t read. I mean, they had auctions to raise money to get a huge library of books and they gave kids lots of free partner reading time, so as to spark their creativity. Well, that fell flat with about half the population. So that is taking this Ken Robinson theme too far. On the other hand, Japan (where cousin lives and teaches) is all about marking time, and measuring steps, and walking up the rungs of that Taxonomy Ladder and they create some stressed out children. I would love to hear more about actual classrooms that do this “flip” successfully….
Hey and by the way I searched for a Neuroscience PhD 6 years ago and the closest I found was Univ. of B.C. Vancouver.
I agree. I think anything taken to an extreme is likely not healthy. Consequently, this is only one method I use for my students to learn. Sometimes I ask them how they want to learn it, other times I structure it for them.
Absolutely, every child learns differently. Differentiation is the way we teach students. Introduce a concept or idea with an introduction that sparks curiosity and then ask questions. Learn your next steps from the children’s responses. They have different levels of schema or prior knowledge and will go into a lesson wanting to share and learn.
I just can’t agree that creativity comes first. While I like your advertising design process, I can’t help thinking that the students actually have knowledge and understanding before they create the advert – they’ve been exposed to adverts and have most likely picked up on recurring patterns in design, even if they haven’t studied them.
How could I write a story, for example, without knowing words and understanding sentence structure beforehand?
It’s impossible to be creative without at least some knowledge and understanding, even if it hasn’t been learned in a formal way.
However the reverse method of teaching seems like it could work. Allowing the students to create something with minimal formal knowledge and understanding, then learning to improve on it by learning techniques and processes seems quite sound – I just don’t think it warrants flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy.
I agree with Colin that the Taxonomy is designed to illustrate the process of cognition, while some are using the framework as a teaching model. For example, you cannot create without some knowledge and understanding (that is…TRUE creation). But, as many of us know, you do not have to be “creative” to be a critic (evaluator). Kudos to Shelly for starting this discussion.
I believe that, if the project is designed carefully, creating and other higher level skills can yield the lower level skills, i.e. This is what you are going to create; now what do you need to learn to create and excellent product?
I agree that students come to a project or lesson with knowledge, but there is a lot more knowledge our students can discover without handing it to them. Maybe it should be labelled create/discover
I love the serendipity of this: just this afternoon I was thinking about how classifying knowledge (true beliefs, opinion, facts, experience) resists the hierarchical structure of a pyramid. We love to make ‘form and content’ nicely agree with one another and your post reminds me that they do not always. Some students will learn by discovery (your science class sounds awesome). Others will need a slower introduction and first learn the basics before they feel confidence to create. There is no consensus on what knowledge is so maybe it is time to rethink Bloom.
I’m glad I circled back to revisit your thoughts and the comments they have evoked. My interest in this topic is personal in that the admin in our county evaluate our teaching based on evidence of Blooms during their walk through evaluations. So, in your opinion, can Blooms be both seen and heard? Is creating a lasting memory of content, creating? Evidence of thinking, I see it on this page!
I think Bloom’s can be both seen and heard, and I don’t think it necessarily translates into a nice heirarchy! As kids engage with their learning and ask questions, discussion and ideas will skip back and forth throughout the taxonomy. I think that’s learning at its best!
I am not a teacher, but I do ‘teach’ by virtue of being a developer who builds eLearning. I get frustrated by ‘old school’ Instructional Designers who stick rigidly to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and thus rarely get off of first base.
We recently had an internal discussion about the use of scenarios, scene setting text, up-front ‘test then tell’ challenges, discovery learning and more. The traditionalists seem to find it hard to let go of the need to simply give step-by-step instruction in a logical and progressive manner, and see al that engagement stuff as ‘fluff’.
I like your suggestion of describing this as flipping Bloom’s and using that as a way to describe the (conceptually) backwards progress (delicious oxymoron!) towards knowledge from stimulating up-front creativity.
This observation from experience by Steve echoes observations by several other “witnesses” who have posted comments here. It should be in boldface:
I get frustrated by ‘old school’ Instructional Designers who stick rigidly to Bloom’s Taxonomy, and thus rarely get off of first base.
Shelley’s point, it seems to me, is not that “Bloom and his colleagues screwed up” (thus inviting the charge that she just doesn’t understand Blooms) but that it is common among educators to approach Blooms as a step pyramid that needs to be climbed by students and fairly strictly followed by teachers. They think they’re doing the right thing.
If her post helps challenge that common perspective, it’s a real contribution to the ongoing discussion of effective teaching and learning.
It might be helpful if we trained teachers as instructional designers, rather than in the traditional way we have. I love the idea of backwards progress!
Interesting post. I think I get your point.
On my wall I’ve posted a version of the updated Taxonomy without pyramid, but in order of LOTS (lower order thinking skills) to HOTS (higher order thinking skills). I even have flames coming off of “Creating” to drive the point home. I often tell my students when our assignment will be calling on HOTS or LOTS. I think this helps them tremendously.
For example, before I teach my students anything about the Holocaust, they must not only learn but memorize an agreed upon definition:
The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored, persecution and murder of approximately six million jews by the Nazi Regime and its collaborators between 1933-1945.
Now this is some very low order thinking, but I use it as a frame for the rest of the unit. I invest one period into some very low order thinking, but as a result, when we look at photos, legislation, letters, literature, architectural plans related to the holocaust my students are looking for evidence and analyzing issues related to: systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored, collaborators, Nazi Regime and so on and enjoying it because they know what these big words mean and they can recite this lengthy sentence.
This tiny piece of knowledge works like a small skeleton that can be added to for the rest of the unit and repeated and reinforced again and again. I did this as a result of so many of my students fundamentally misunderstanding some of the basic facts about this moment in history (often due to a lot of bad movies they had seen). They often just focused on Hitler or gas chambers or camps and didn’t understand the systemic nature of the very complicated story. But this definition actually made the complexity more clear to them.
I also found that doing some low Bloom’s stuff that is easy at the beginning of a unit is great for encouraging achievement. I require every one of my students to get a 100% on this Holocaust definition before we move on. And in this particular unit, we finish with a project and an extensive essay, very much in the Creating domain.
I also explain to the students directly why LOTS are sometimes essential and why sometimes they are boring and easy. I don’t let my students play this very engaging and interesting video-game simulation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict without first passing a very low Blooms geography and history of the conflict test. We then play the video-game, then we analyze our decisions and then we create a strategy plan for a two-state solution. Trying to reverse this order (doing the simulation first) would oversimplify the conflict and reduce it to a game of pattern recognition. I know this because I’ve done it without the tests and that’s what I got. More importantly, I got less empathy for the Israelis and Palestinians and less interest in the subject overall. They had fun playing a game, but they didn’t care about the subject or the people involved.
I agree that lower level Bloom’s are essentially less important. But, especially in social science courses, when students have little background knowledge, I see a drop off in engagement. On my board I have written: IDK=IDC. I always tell me students that I can’t make them care, but I can make them know. Yet, when they end up knowing, they end up caring. So, I’ve often used low Bloom’s items as a way to give students a quick dose of knowledge, like vocab and geography can do before we have fun doing more higher order thinking. But, I try to make it impossible for students not to get a perfect score (create structured rehearsal time in class) so that I can get them a quick victory – which will lock them into engaging in the things that matter most, the HOTS.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with some units starting with creating, especially if it can increase engagement. I try to use creating, analysis, synthesis and evaluation constantly. But, I do find that all three are always improved with background knowledge. The trick is creating the right balance that can create engagement. I spend the second half of my Global Studies year doing way more HOTS, because we have built on a lot of knowledge. I’ve told my students that they simply aren’t ready to have a debate (evaluation) on a subject because they don’t know enough yet. They love this. They love getting to a place where they know enough to have an intelligent conversation or debate. withholding it actually generates interest.
That being said, I think you can do creating, debating, evaluating whenever you want. I just think we have to acknowledge that what you create, what you debate and what you evaluate will change as knowledge on a particular subject increases. I think you can constantly be circling back and have a lot of success. I just think some units (like my Holocaust one) can be improved by moving from LOTS to HOTS and not reversing it.
More than flipping it, I think we need to be deliberate in our decisions. I find students can tackle any of the Bloom’s verbs at just about any time when they know why they are focusing in on that particular verb. I keep track of how many LOTS and how many HOTS I use in my learning objectives throughout the year, and I”m currently writing a piece of software to help me see the patterns of which verbs I tend to use more or less and why and which tools I use to assess. I’m trying for a logical balance with the goal of increasing the amount of final assessments that use HOTS.
I can’t agree enough that we put way too much focus in LOTS when it comes to AP classes and state testing. It is because I find the HOTS inherently more valuable that I often start with some LOTS so we have some material from which to do high level analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creation.
Well thanks for the thought provoking article. You helped me figure out some of my own processes. I love Bloom’s and I’m happy to hear anyone talking about it.
I agree with the person who said they preferred to think of it like the color wheel where things overlap and aren’t necessarily in any certain order. I usually start with Creativity in my classrooms as I am a CTAE (Business & Computer Science) teacher. I’ve always said, “I like to do things backwards” which now, thanks to the inverted pyramid, is no longer considered “backwards”
It is essential to get students hands on the keyboard, creating web pages and seeing their creations prior to inundating them with boring notes–that comes later when they can make the connection AFTER actually doing it!
Thanks so much!!!
I teach a dual-credit Senior English class and I also sponsor the yearbook. In my spare time, I’m the library media specialist for the district. Though I had not thought to call it “flipping Bloom’s,” I’ve been teaching this way for years. I give my students a project that requires creativity, analysis, deep reflection, research, etc. and they find the prior and new knowledge and skills needed to pull it off. The results are pretty amazing, and I don’t spend much time on basics.
Kids will step up and do wonderful things if they are challenged to create products that have real meaning.
Thank you for this article. You made me feel like I am not alone! I teach elementary music. The process through which I teach music imitation, exploration, creating, and finally labeling. For me and my students, exploration and creation happens very early in the learning process. This year, my school got really into Bloom’s taxonomy. To the dismay of many of my colleagues, I disagreed with the hierarchy. Saying this, though, is like committing educational blasphemy. Like you, I felt like a heretic! I, too, thought the pyramid should be turned upside down!
Thank you for your article.
I’ve had the same thoughts about starting with higher order thinking first. It makes sense, in that it gives the students a reason to access and use the “lower” skills. It’s unfortunate that the taxonomy is illustrated as a pyramid. I recently read this article, http://bigthink.com/ideas/42531, which details the original intent of the taxonomy. I think the pyramid gives the false impression that stair stepping is necessary. Hopefully we’ll get back to that original intent!
Hi Shelley, thanks for the post! I really enjoyed it. The flipped taxonomy seems to give way to the opportunity to coach (i.e. guide) students to the intended educational goal – which is essentially what you are doing. By starting with creative work you position them to make the same discoveries the original authors did when they discovered the concepts. I take a very similar approach with my math students and get them to the point where they derive their own formulas and then look at me like…”that’s it?” I tell them “Yep, that’s it.” They are shocked at how much sense it makes and they start to truly understand the why and the how of the concept.
I even wonder if we can (to some extent) remove “Remembering” from the taxonomy. I say this because I teach my students to understand the concepts so that they don’t have to “remember” the formulas. If they understand, then they can derive the formulas/solutions on demand. Of course, they are “remembering” their understanding of the concept, but I hope you get what I mean.
Again, thanks for the post, it was great!
I don’t disagree with Bloom’s but I also don’t totally agree with the concept that one needs to master the most basic level first before going to the next. Let’s just put it this way. The more a person can remember ideas, the more he can apply those ideas with other discoveries which lead to understanding, analysis, and evaluation. In fact, evaluation is simply the comparison of an idea with a standard which is a compilation of other ideas.
In your Ads example, despite starting with “creating” you actually started with memory which is the “standard elements” and understanding them. This then proceeds to the “creation” of ads which I’m pretty sure that your students didn’t really create but relied on the comprehension of what they remember and innovated from there.
Same went with your Chemistry class. Your students have a basic memory of materials that conduct hence they used tin foil. In English, their memory also came first by recalling how to write letters, words, phrases, sentences and eventually paragraphs.
In my honest opinion, we don’t really have the capacity to create but to merely innovate or deviate. Can we create a totally new color that is not from the mixing of other colors? Nope. We simply discovered these from remembering what color comes out from mixing this and that.
I teach creativity and the most common way of generating an idea is by stimulus. Composers and artists would call this their inspiration. Sometimes we would go to a very remote place and what we see there is actually the stimulus. Our ideas are generated by innovating / deviating from the idea of the stimulus.
From how you described your teaching method, I would say that you actually employed the inductive approach to learning where they start with small ideas first then ultimately derive the conclusion from them. The opposite is the deductive approach where you are given the conclusion and you generate the other applications of that general idea/conclusion. I find your method very effective for high school, college and adult learners since they already have an abundance of memories to use in order to understand the concepts you’re sharing.
To be able to alternate inductive and deductive approaches to learning is a talent that teachers and trainers can use to become very effective in the profession. Like for example, starting the class with a simulated learning experience (game, group dynamics, etc.) and then deriving conclusions from what they learned by playing them (this is the inductive approach). Then once these conclusions are generated, we then apply them to other similar situations that are guided by the same conclusions (this is the deductive approach). And from there, another discussion/activity to derive another conclusion, and so on.
I like your blog in such that it stimulated my thinking of this concept. I use this also in developing my programs and your insights provided me with validation to my methods. Keep it up!
I like inverting the pyrami, but how about leaving “create” in the big band on the top and “remember” on the bottom in the small band. The pose it as a funnel with “start hete by ‘create’, because we remember by creating. It is easier to evaluate when you have created, etc. The funnel makes creating the item we should have the most of.
I think this is wonderfully stated. It is funny that I have never considered Bloom’s as a pyramid as much as the levels that a learner goes through. I like your idea about how to flip Bloom’s and I think you are absolutely correct! I think flipping Bloom’s will increase student engagement by allowing them to explore their curiosity in any given subject and then figure out why it worked or didn’t work!
I appreciate your thoughts on this, but I think that the idea that you enter into the pyramid from one side or the other is inherently a fallacy. The taxonomy isn’t linear. Depending on the concept/idea/content, the mind can enter in at any appropriate point. In fact, different learners will prefer different entry points. So I think the taxonomy should move away from a linear concept in either direction.
I was so happy when I read this! I am a reading specialist for 5-8-we spend SO MUCH time at the bottom of that pyramid, especially with students who struggle with reading. I’m betting that when we flip it over, those students will show us they can soar. I think they’re bored with “Where does the story take place” “Who is the main character” (student thought bubble-Duh!)
What a terrific application! I’ve never thought to apply it to reading, but you certainly could. It would be interesting to watch students work their way from creating and see what they come up with.
Hi! I loved this article!
and it has inspired me to include this in my masters. I am currently on the masters program in social sciences didactics here at the university of Oslo, Norway. and I would love to use this has a starting point for my thesis and try it out in social sciences.
what do you think?
are there any advise you could give me if I go with this?
It would be really interesting to see how it can be used in various social sciences, and I think it would be a really interesting thesis topic. Using the inquiry process will likely help you too. I found that the more I learned to design learning experiences like this for my students, the easier it got. Good Luck!
As a technologist ( with limited dipping in Science), when it comes to applying above stages in the odrer mentioned above, i I find some flaws in this model.
Education needs to be alligned with current industry practices, if we are to prepare ‘job fit’ vocational tradees. Under the current economic climate ,i will say that is where the mouth for the tax payers money is located.
Bloom 21 model ( as here) is all good for an elite group only who will probably will do academic work as a career..
But by changing the order of learning phases we can apply this into vocational education to produce innovative tradees.
In my humble technological practice i will arrange above phases as
START > ANALYSING existing situation ( also called case study method in avademia)> UNDERSTANDING> APPLYING > EVALUATING > REMEMBERING
Working from the bottom up it appears that creativity emerges from the students head first. That seems about right and the notion that we need to spend years preparing students to be creative serves the interests of who exactly? I don’t argue with the concepts developed and refined by Bloom only it seems we have made ourselves slaves to the idea there is a fixed order to learning that ends at creativity.
this blog very good, written well. and i think i will go to this site every day.
A circle with arrows might be a better representation of the learning process. iwork wiht adults in a training situation. I find one of the hardest things for them to learn and to practice in thier own teaching is to allow for critical and analytical processing. Why? It is hard. It take time and the lesson “plan” with all the objective just mght not be covered.
Wonderful resource, thank you! Your description of science class reminds me of the “Predict-Observe-Explain” that a professor in a Faculty of Education was promoting in the mid-90s, which may have been based on an Australian approach. Here is one reference on POE.
nice Tutorial bozzz…
thank for sharing
Shelly Hi! no post for 2 months is it closed? Anyway I have a point to make or even more than one point.
I live in the provinces of an island in the Philippines. The island is in the middle of this tropical archipelago about 620 KLM south of Manila. I work in Malaysia for the MoEd as a mentor to the yr 1 ,2 and 3 Engliah teachers.
My first point is the old pyramid has taken on a completely new look in it’s digital form, it’s not a pyramid anymore. At the end of the day it matters not the shape a a set of words but the shape of how the ideas there are used and that’s your point (okay flipping is in).
The reason I mentioned where I live is because here creativity comes out of a necessity. When there is very little money to buy (even if it was available) people become creative with little if any knowledge about what they are creating. They create things because they need them and it’s a natural process.
In the west and other modern countries we have suppressed and conditioned learners in some cases for ever. I mean we even still teach the alphabet in Kindy just because the principle said so and or the curriculum said so; doing this confuses the learners when faced with phonics and in some cases causes dyslexia.
I was watching a 1 yr old baby sitting on the grass at the beach, she was banging a fork on a plate, creating a sound, i watched the small boys make a boat form some driftwood, I watched other make a meal of pork and fish from nothing.
If you where to teach a lesson (let’s say a lesson on how to walk) using any pyramid, steps, approach theory, circle etc,. what would it look like. It would right there is none is there.
I mentor teachers who are victims of BT and all the other prescriptions, they are the most uncreative people, I’m not blaming them they are in most cases Ministry clerks. But the young learners are little creators. So what needs flipping is the learning institution. Can you flip that for us. 😉
Thanks for being creative and turning something on it’s head.
Oop’s sorry SHELLEY… Not Shelly
When I read this article, it made so much sense I wanted to cry. I have re-posted it in my Virtual Professional Learning group ning in New Zealand.
As I consider how I learn, I am prompted or nudged by an idea, which I try in my own way. Then I reflect on and compare it to the idea that nudged me in the first place or other’s models. This could be a recipe, a lesson idea or strategy, or solving a problem. I think you have clearly articulated appropriate strategies for both Revised Bloom’s and Flipped Classrooms.
What if students were given Bloom’s Taxonomy in no order along with some options for blanks and asked how they would arrange the concepts, including any of their own additions.
Students who agreed could create an approach to a specific course where they felt their ‘taxonomy’ would work best. Then they could create and complete their own assignment.
I expect that some of Bloom’s work might be considered irrelevant by the technologically savvy.
I retired three years ago after decades of encouraging my students to mess with their learning in ways that I could not create for them until they showed me. It was never easy, but it was astonishing! I still hear from hundreds of them who want me to know where their experiences in my classes ultimately led. And yes, I am sure there are many who do not contact me because they like their learning spoon fed. One of my own daughters told me that she would hate to have had me for a teacher because she liked her learning “neat.”
i am excited with those strategies applied with those specialist.
I’m wondering: is there a slight different between learning as cognitive process and learning as process of learning (teaching, didactic)? Learning with experimental work or project work is known as very effective do the stimulation of all students’ senses and active role. If you are talking about learning as process, I agree but I feel not sure about flipping Blooms taxonomy in case of cognitive process.
Free writing is rarely create-level, especially if the writing is generated from stream-of-consciousness. If my students write about something they did last summer, that would only correspond to the remember-level and understand-level. Even writing from a prompt will likely target only the first two levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
I know this is late but I needed to respond. I have not read the original Bloom’s Taxonomy, although from reading the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, I understand there was a strict hierarchy in the original, that a student was indeed required to master their learning as a sequence of steps starting at the bottom and once each step has ‘been thoroughly addressed’ before moving onto the next. However, this is one of the changes Anderson et al. make in the revised version; they make it quite clear that “the revision places much greater importance on teacher usage than on developing a strict hierarchy”. So the rigidity you describe really does not apply to the revised version.
Having said this I would like to criticise your criticism, to suggest that inverting the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy as a better option. Focusing on creativity first, I agree, can lead to greater engagement, but usually results in misdirected and/or shallow learning. If we had unlimited time to teach a subject then this approach would potentially be much better all round, but unfortunately we don’t. I also disagree with your point that factual knowledge ‘in a Google-world” has no place. Software is an invisible medium, so to an outsider the Google-world may appear to be a creative enterprise, but the reality is that this creativity only can occur and depends heavily upon factual knowledge.
For example, I teach Computer Science, if I were to approach my lessons from a purely creative perspective my students would have fun and be happily engaged in drawing pictures using Scratch, but would learn nothing about programming, eventually I would have to move them away from their creative, but misdirected endeavours and inject some factual knowledge into the lesson before they could make progress. In fact without being able to remember, understand and apply factual knowledge about the Scratch programming language they will never be able to become creative programmers.
I think it is fair to say that the original Bloom Taxonomy could be considered to be a bottom-up approach; conversely the inverted Bloom concept discussed here could be considered a top-down approach. In addition, learning is a complex problem and when solving all complex problems they are usually tackled most effectively switching between the top-down and bottom-up approaches. Given this, I would suggest that the inverted Bloom concept has some merit, but when working in conjunction with the original Bloom’s Taxonomy – a scenario that already fits well within the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy anyway.