Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives EDA 5301: Human Development and the Learning Process in Adolescent Education Anthony Lisa October 22, 2012
Bloom’s Taxonomy: A Brief Overview How Educational objectives and pyramidal questioning promote student engagement and learning
Writing Objectives • Important in guiding the lesson • Helps to organize planning • Guides evaluation • Present coherent and sequential lessons • Facilitates student learning • (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012)
Concepts and Subjects • Multifaceted, layered, and related. • We want students to learn different skills and demonstrate different levels of understanding. • How do we do this? • (Slavin, 2012)
Bloom’s Taxonomy • Classifies objectives • Helps teachers think about their goals during the planning process • Orders objectives from simple to complex • (Slavin, 2012)
Questions • Are the single MOST important component in promoting student involvement • Bloom’s taxonomy offers a pyramid of questions to engage students • Lower-order thinking to Higher-order thinking • (Kauchak & Eggen 2012)
Unengaged Students = Blank Stares http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhiCFdWeQfA
Important Questions: • We must answer these questions when planning: • “What do we want students to know or understand about this topic?” • “What should they be able to do with it?” • (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012)
Why was Bloom’s Taxonomy Necessary? • In writing objectives and assessments, it is important to consider: • Different skills • Different levels of understanding
Example: A social studies lesson on the causes and effects of the Civil War for 10th graders • Information about the names and dates of important leaders, generals, and battles, • Differences in Northern vs. Southern ways of life • The historical importance of the War (Slavin, 2012)
Understanding • Each of these activities demonstrates a different kind of understanding of the concept “the Civil War.” • The concept has not been sufficiently taught if students do not understand how each subtopic relates to the larger parent concept. • (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012)
How do we ensure balanced learning? • These various lesson goals can be classified by type and degree of complexity. • A system of classification helps teachers to categorize instructional activities to optimize student learning.
Why are objectives important in Education? • Effective teaching begins with clear, specific learning objectives. • Learning Objectives: • According to Kauchak & Eggen (2012): “Are statements that specify what students should know, understand, or be able to do with respect to a topic or course of study” (p. 118).
Clear and precise objectives are critical • 1. If teachers aren’t sure what they want students to understand or be able to do, how can they guide their learning and how will they be able to ascertain what they have achieved?
2. According to Kauchak and Eggen (2012): “Clear learning objectives help teachers make decisions about ways to represent content for learners. The examples teachers use help students understand the abstract idea they are trying to learn” (p.182).
The Problem: • Not all learning objectives are the same (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012).
Consider these Language Arts Learning Objectives: • To be able to define the concepts “simile” and “metaphor” • To be able to identify examples of similes and metaphors in a written passage • To be able to use similes and metaphors to improve writing skills
Each of these demand different learning outcomes. • To respond to these differences, researchers developed a system that classified these objectives by the kind of thinking required of students (Kauchak &Eggen, 2012).
The Solution: • Taxonomies help teachers think about their goals during the planning process.
In Bloom • In 1956, Benjamin Bloom and some fellow researchers (Bloom, Englehart, Furst, Hill, & Krathwohl, 1956) published a TAXONOMY of EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES. • Bloom and his team categorized objectives from simple to complex(Slavin, 2012).
Knowledge • Recalling information • The lowest level of objectives in Bloom’s hierarchy. • Example: memorizing facts or formulas, or scientific principles.
Comprehension • Translating or interpreting information. • Targets whether students understand content and can use it. • Example: predicting what might happen next in a story
Application • Using principles or abstractions to solve real-life problems. • Requires students to use knowledge to solve practical problems. • Example: using geometry to figure out how many gallons of water can fit into a swimming pool.
Analysis • Breaking down complex information into simpler parts to understand how the parts relate or are organized. • Requires students to see the underlying structure of complex information or ideas. • Example: understanding how the functions of the carburetor and distributor are related in a car engine.
Synthesis • Creation of something that did not exist before. • Involves the use of skills to create original, new products. • Example: writing a song.
Evaluation • Judging the value or worth of something by comparing it to predetermined criteria. • Example: evaluate whether we were justified in invading Iraq after September 11. • (Slavin, 2012, and Kauchak & Eggen, 2012).
Importance of Bloom’s Taxonomy • Reminder that we want students to have many levels of skills. • Often, teachers focus on measurable criteria and comprehension objectives. • Forget that students cannot be considered proficient until they can apply and synthesize skills.
Importance of Questioning • Teacher questioning is the most effective strategy for fostering student involvement. • Effective teachers ask many questions and use questions to guide learning and provide feedback (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012).
Knowledge • What happened after…? • Can you name the…? • Can you tell why…?
Comprehension • Can you write in your own words…? • What was the main idea…? • What do you think might happen next…?
Application • Do you know another instance where…? • Could this have happened in…? • Can you apply the method used to some experience of your own…?
Analysis • What was the turning point in the game…? • Can you distinguish between…? • What were some of the motives behind…?
Synthesis • Can you write a new recipe for a tasty dish…? • Why not compose a song about…? • Can you see a possible solution to…?
Evaluation • Can you defend the position about…? • What do you think about…? • Do you think…is a good or bad thing? • (Examples accessed from Prof. L. Symons)
Bloom Today • To reflect the dramatic increase in understanding of learning and teaching since the middle of the 20th Century, Bloom’s taxonomy has been revised
Think • Both remind us that specifying learning objectives requires careful decision making. • Have we answered these questions? • “What do we want students to know or understand about this topic?” • “What should they be able to do with it?” • (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012)
Bibliography • Kauchak, D. & Eggen, P. (2012). Learning & Teaching: Research-Based Methods (6th). Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, Inc. Slavin, R. (2012). Educational Psychology: Theory and practice(10th). Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, Inc. Symons, L. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. PowerPoint slides. Retrieved from http://blackboard. dowling.edu.