Reading Assignment 4

We are going to spend a couple weeks working on writing objectives based on CDE standards. In particular, we are going to develop your ability to write high-level, 21st century objectives that incorporate technology in a transforming way (i.e. adding value to a lesson rather than being the lesson). Each of your upcoming projects (digital story, mini-lesson, Wikipedia project, and your final project) will be based on a standard of your choice and an objective.

Before we delve into standards and objectives we are going to explore Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The original taxonomy was developed in the 1950s and has become a staple of education. In order to address some of its shortcomings it was revised in 2002. The below article will give you some of the background and an overview of the revised taxonomy. It is not meant to develop a complete and deep understanding of Bloom’s but to give us some criteria to guide us in writing objectives as well as evaluate objectives.

An example

I will use the 6th grade social studies standard 1.2.b. This is an example related to the upcoming digital storytelling project to be posted soon.

1.2.b – Determine and explain the historical context of key people, events, and ideas over time including the examination of different perspectives from people involved. Topics to include but not limited to Aztec, Maya, Inca, Inuit, early Native American cultures of North America, major explorers, colonizers of countries in the Western Hemisphere, and the Columbian Exchange. (From CDE)

Keep in mind that not all standards will lend themselves to a digital story. Be selective in the standards you select for tech integration as well the tech you use.

Objective – After conducting research on an early American civilization of their choice (condition), 6th grade students (audience) will select an event of historical significance and create (behavior) a digital story and a storyboard for planning that retells the event in such a way as to accurately portray what is known about the event and the people involved from two or more perspectives (degree).

This one objective does not fully meet the above standard as it does not address all the topics mentioned but most teachers would break the various topics out into units over the course of the year. It can, however, meet additional standards such as 1.1.b depending on how the lesson is structured.

1.1.b – Interpret documents and data from multiple primary and secondary sources while formulating historical questions. Sources to include but not limited to art, artifacts, eyewitness accounts, letters and diaries, artifacts, real or simulated historical sites, charts, graphs, diagrams and written texts. (From CDE)

In order to fully implement such a lesson there would need to be a detailed lesson plan covering how and when the students will conduct the research, select an event, create the storyboard, film or draw and scan images, assemble the final story and a rubric detailing the various expectations for the research process, the storyboard and final product. There would also need to be some discussion time with students to help guide them in their exploration of different perspectives. We’ll discuss these issues more later.

Contrast the above objective with the following:

Objective – After completing the assigned reading (textbook, websites), students will create a PowerPoint detailing at least ten major events in the history of their assigned early American civilization.

Few teachers would actually go to the trouble of writing an objective for a project like this which is part of the problem. Once written down, it sounds pretty pointless. The resulting projects would be largely comprised of bullet points of key names, dates and events (kind of like the cloud project). In essence, a summary of their reading which does not really address the standard at all. Nothing in the standard says anything about extracting and recalling details. However, this has been a fairly common approach to using technology (adaptive in Porter’s terms). Instead of doing a worksheet like they likely did in the past, the teacher opts for a tech project. This lesson would result in the tech becoming the focus and the content secondary as it’s used to fill up the powerpoint. Student engagement with the tech is often high but content engagement and critical thinking is low or non-existent. The other issue is lack of alignment with the standard. Many teachers interpret the above standard to mean read about and remember on a test. That may have been the norm in the pre-standards era but as standards are continually revised and refined they are moving away from factual content (though there are still specific skills to be learned) toward higher order thinking skills.

In your reflection, discuss any aspect of Bloom’s Taxonomy and how it might relate to standards and objectives and/or your thoughts about the above examples. Keep in mind there is an upcoming reading more directly related to writing objectives so it is okay if you feel a bit unsure about the how/why at this point.

A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy- An Overview

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17 thoughts on “Reading Assignment 4

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy is divided into 6 different levels that each student should meet. It is a way for teachers to ask themselves different questions. For example under the level on remembering, the teacher might ask herself; can the student recall or remember the information? However, under the level of evaluating, the teacher might ask herself; can the student justify a decision? Each level is allowing teachers to ask themselves different questions to determine if the students are on the right track. I think that Bloom’s Taxonomy would relate to standards and objectives because teachers are able to set learning objectives for the students, based on the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I think that writing objectives and finding appropriate standards can become very confusing because there are certain standards that teachers have to use while teaching, and I find it overwhelming! However, I am almost certain that I will be just fine by the time I teach!

    • How would a teacher go about meeting each level? Do we start at the bottom and work our way up? If so, how do we ensure we actually go beyond remember and understand? After all, that has largely been the problem to date – teachers rarely get to the upper levels. What about starting at the top? Can we focus on creation and let the other levels fall into place as part of the process?

      • For some reason when I first wrote my response I didn’t see the article on; A Revision of Blooms Taxonomy, so I read it and was very interested in some of the things that it said. I think it is very interesting how many times each level of Blooms Taxonomy has been revised and changed. I feel like it is being revised and changed because teachers are starting to teach in the 21st Century and are incorporating technology into their lessons for the children. The bottom level is more simple questions. However, as the chart moves from the bottom level to the top level, it progresses into higher thinking questions and once children reach the top level of Blooms Taxonomy, they are able to create their final product, using all the information from the previous levels. Teachers can ensure that children go beyond the level, remember and understand by assessing them and making sure that they actually know the information, instead of just memorizing it. I’m not sure if teachers could start at the top level of Blooms Taxonomy ( I think it would make things more difficult), however, teachers could go off of a certain goal that they want the children to be at, as they reach the top level. I think Blooms Taxonomy is a great way for teachers to set different learning objectives for the students as well as seeing if the students meet those objectives as they reach each level.

  2. While reading through Bloom’s Taxonomy, I found some aspects very interesting. It was neat how over time the standards and objectives change. This allows teachers to bring in new creative ideas into their classrooms. As time goes on, the ways of teaching change too. With the 21st century learning especially, teachers are learning to incorporate technology. They are also working on getting away from teacher centered classrooms and more on student centered. The Bloom’s Taxonomy added a new category to the Knowledge Dimensions. First, there is Factual Knowledge. This concentrates on knowledge of terminology and knowledge of specific details and elements. Then there is Conceptual Knowledge. This is the knowledge of classifications and categories, knowledge of principles and generalizations, and knowledge of theories, models, and structures. Procedural knowledge follows that. This includes the knowledge of subject specific skills and algorithms, knowledge of subject specific techniques and methods, and knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures. The addition they made to the Knowledge Dimensions is the Metacognitive Knowledge. This section concentrates on strategic knowledge, knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge, as well as self knowledge. These knowledge dimensions demonstrate how the education objectives and standards can change. Teachers should be prepared to learn how to incorporate new ideas into their classroom because they are likely to occur.

    • I agree with a lot of what you had to say. It only makes sense that the standards would change over time due to the fact that our educational techniques are ever changing. I think it would beneficial for a teacher to be able to hit all of Bloom’s ideas in one lesson, that way the students have the opportunity to explore the level that fits them. Do you think this is even possible though? I feel like it would be very challenging for a teacher to meet every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy in one session. What do you think?

      • I’m not sure there is a really any connection between Bloom’s and standards – at least not an intentional one. Bloom’s came out well before the standards movement. Those who developed it were not teachers but educational psychologists and they were originally focused on testing. What they developed, however, was a way to classify objectives. We have modified how we use Bloom’s in education to help us write objectives.

        I don’t think our goal should be trying to “hit” all levels. An objective is either low level or it’s high level. It’s not really going to be both. That said, however, students do use lower level skills while working at higher levels. The opposite doesn’t usually happen. That is part of the rationale behind “flipping Bloom’s”. Students should be able to work at any level as they are cognitive domains. Given the opportunity a student can remember things, apply their knowledge or create new things.

  3. Bloom’s Taxonomy really opened my hows to how much work and thought is put into putting the standards and curriculum together. I could not imagine the time and effort it took to put this together. This goes for the revisions as well. While it must take immense amounts out work, I think that it is very important we have these and I don’t think the school system would be running right without it. The revisions are just of equal importance, with the new technologies and ways we were doing things these days, I think the revisions are very important. These revisions will allows teachers to incorporate new ways of learning that are relevant to the advances we have in our society. I think they are crucial for learning and the succeeding of our students.

  4. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a good way to teach. I think that it is important that schools follow the way that Bloom’s Taxonomy is set up. By doing so students will learn what they need to learn and not learn things that aren’t relevant to what they are already learning. Students shouldnt be pass by their grades, schools should use Bloom’s Taxonomy and test the students to see if they are really learning what they need to learn and if they understand what is going on then they should be able to pass on to the next grade.

  5. I think without standard it will be crazy to maintain order in a class room. Also, the teachers will have nothing to teach or have an idea to what they need to teach their students. Without standards, what would we teach kids? With the standards, Standards are a good way to help teachers stay in organized and give them ideas to what they need to teach their students. I think the revisions of taxonomy are a great idea for teachers and for their students. It helps them to keep up with the latest information to what they need, to what new materials they need to use and what technology is up to date. The revision will help them incorporate new things and get new ideas for teachers, so they won’t teach the same thing to their students over and over again.

  6. The aspect of Bloom’s Taxonomy that I found to be the most interesting was the Taxonomy Table that was developed after the revised taxonomy. (Pg. 215) The way that it creates a two-dimensional table combining both the knowledge and the cognitive process used to obtain that knowledge is the most relevant aspect to 21st Century Learning in my opinion. The combination of the learning concepts shows how learning can be done in many different ways and provides general guidelines that can help develop standards and/or objectives. Conversely, this table can also be used to help determine how standards and/or objectives can be taught to students by combining different aspects of learning. I am definitely not sure of how to implement these standards and objectives in the classroom, but I think that the Bloom’s Taxonomy offers many positive ideas on how to accomplish this

  7. I think standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy go together well. Standards help teachers keep children on track of what they should be able to do by the end of a unit and Bloom’s is a way to test the knowledge of children to make sure they are learning what they should without stressing of the grade of an assignment. Although it may not be possible to meet every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy but it is a good way to set up a classroom and use the standards to enforce Bloom’s Taxonomy. As standards and requirements change allowing more creativity and 21st Century teaching to become more prominent in the classrooms. Standards and objectives change every few years I believe but they still go with Bloom’s Taxonomy in a way because they still have Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation are still being looked at by teachers.

  8. 6.0 Create – Putting elements together to form a novel, coherent whole or make an original product.
    6.1 Generating
    6.2 Planning
    6.3 Producing
    I found this example in table 3 on the article. I found this example to be quite interesting, because it fits so well with the “transformative” way of teaching, allowing the students to completely understand the subject, and let them take the reins, so to speak.
    Of the whole Bloom’s Taxonomy I found it enlightening that the student was able to go through these steps, each a little more difficult than the previous, to create something with their acquired knowledge and understanding. The evaluation was also nice to see, because instead of getting a letter grade (to my understanding) the students would be scored on a card, going through the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I also found it interesting how Bloom’s Taxonomy adapted to other languages to be able to get to a wider audience.

  9. Blooms Taxonomy is really a guide to show teachers how effective their lessons are. There are 6 levels on the scale that start at minimally effective teaching and move up to the most effective. On the bottom level there is the ability to simply remember the information presented and on the top level the students are being asked to create something new and original after they have taken and synthesized the new information. When students are creating at the top level they have to use all of the levels below it to be proficient. I really like the way that the new levels are arranged. It really allows for the student to fully understand and put their knowledge into new uses. The old scale listed the highest level at evaluation. This is where you can really see the shift in education. Where we used to teach just so that students could pass their exams and standardized testing, we are now putting focus on how students can use the information they are learning in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. There is a much higher emphasis on creativity in Blooms Taxonomy. It enforces lessons that allow student directed activities.

  10. Rachel Even
    I found the article about Bloom’s Taxonomy really interesting and made me come to realize they are an important aspect that took a lot of time and effort to create. The Bloom’s Taxonomy is made up of six categories, remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. Over time the categories have changed, and I think for the better. These categories allow us as teachers to ask ourselves questions to determine of the students are on track. The change also allows teachers to change and bring in new ideas for teaching and learning. This is a great aspect for 21st century learning. After reading the article I think that the categories are a crucial guide for teachers to provide the best learning environment for there students.

  11. I found Bloom’s Taxonomy very informative. The staircase structure of it is very useful. This structure has six categories, remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create. These categories are a very useful guide for teachers. It helps teachers use the CDE standards. When a teacher has chosen a standard in which to teach, he/she can evaluate that standard and see which categories it falls into. They can also form their lesson plans to fit into certain categories so that the students get the most out of the lesson plans. Even though difficult at times the goal would be to form lesson plans that have the students creating something. Which is the top category of the stair structure.

  12. Bloom’s Taxonomy showed me how much work goes in to the creation and revision of curriculum and standards Although the creation is extensive work without the standards and curriculum schools across the country would not be running. Bloom’s Taxonomy is made up of six categories, remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. This helps keep teachers and students on task, in order, and allows teachers to meet requirements for all children. This will help teachers because its and outline for everyone to use.

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