bloom’s taxonomy

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Didau’s Taxonomy


Taxonomy is the science of classification. As such it’s useful for ordering items within a domain into different categories. Contrary to popular understanding, although taxonomies can be hierarchical, they don't have to be so. In education, the word ‘taxonomy’ is most closely associated with the prefix, ‘Bloom’s’. As every teacher knows, Bloom’s Taxonomy is a triangle with ‘knowledge’ at its base and ‘evaluation’ or ‘creativity’ at its apex. In fact, Bloom’s Taxonomy is not just a triangular diagram, it’s actually an attempt to classify different thinking skills. The triangle has simply come to represent the taxonomy. The educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, who developed [...]

Didau’s Taxonomy2018-02-10T09:19:28+00:00

When is a bad idea a bad idea?


While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others. Christopher Hitchens Twitter exploded into fury earlier this evening when @MissNQT posted a picture of a training resource she'd been given at a course aimed at helping newly qualified teachers to challenge more able students. I took it upon myself to further propel it into the Twittersphere with this: Hyperbole? Schools Week editor, Laura McInerney certainly thought so. She suggested that were the grid retitled nobody would have gotten aeriated. Here's her edited version: [...]

When is a bad idea a bad idea?2015-06-24T22:12:47+00:00

Where do I want my daughters to go to school?


My eldest daughter is in Year 6 and applications for secondary school applications need to be in by the end of October. To my shame, I've taken the route my middle-class parents take; we're moving into the catchment of the school of our choice. But why have we chosen it? Well, the results are very good; the view of parents is overwhelmingly positive; it offers about the right blend of academic and 'creative' subjects, and it has the kind of ethos that chimes with our values. I think. But I don't really know. I'm basing these judgements on league tables, Ofsted reports, [...]

Where do I want my daughters to go to school?2014-09-28T10:44:39+00:00

It’s not what you know… oh, hang on: it IS what you know!


I'm fed up of people who should know better saying they're bored with the false dichotomy of skills versus knowledge. The knowledge vs skills debate is always worth having because it conceals a more fundamental disagreement (a real dichotomy, if you will) about what's most important. Let's agree that no one is actually advocating that no knowledge is taught. I'm sure this is true. But saying that knowledge is 'just a foundation for higher order thinking' isn't good enough either. This picture from Joe Kirby's blog sums it up for me: Analysis, application, evaluation and all the rest are the merely the [...]

It’s not what you know… oh, hang on: it IS what you know!2018-09-24T23:37:12+00:00

How knowledge is being detached from skills in English


I don't normally do this. In fact, I haven't put up a post by anyone else since last August. But in this case Joe Kirby has expressed my own thoughts so articulately that there seemed little point trying to repeat the same thing myself. Not only that, Joe is somewhat of a phenomenon. His grasp of the nuances of education theory belies the fact that he is only just completing his NQT year. When I compare his expertise to my ignorance at the same stage of my career I am staggered, and not a little ashamed. As such I would very much like for you to read his [...]

How knowledge is being detached from skills in English2013-07-22T06:52:56+00:00

Challenging Bloom's Taxonomy


Have had a few thought provoking debates recently about the validity of Bloom's Taxonomy. Yes, that's right, a challenge to the orthodoxy! I've read through a selection of articles which all point to the fact that there is no real evidence base to support Bloom's theories and worse, thinking in this rigid, hierarchical way can even be damaging! Can it be true? One criticism is that it can lead to teachers not really thinking through the different categories of thinking skills each time they're used which lead students to think superficially. Any classification of skills along the lines of Bloom's can [...]

Challenging Bloom's Taxonomy2011-08-24T21:57:08+00:00

Zooming in and out


For some years now I have been using what I call The Grade Ladder with students to help them understand the skills required to perform at different grades. This isn't particularly original and has been around for quite while. I first encountered the terms 'evaluate', 'analyse', 'explore', 'explain' and 'identify' in GCSE English specifications but it's obvious at even a cursory glance that these skills are underpinned by Bloom's Taxonomy.   So, to IDENTIFY, students had to be able to give an opinion and support it with textual evidence; to EXPLAIN they had to show they understood the relationship between their [...]

Zooming in and out2013-07-19T12:08:59+00:00