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Is it Time to Update Bloom's Taxonomy

By Room 241 Team January 14, 2013

Proposed in 1956, Bloom’s Taxonomy, a collection of learning objectives developed by a group led by educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, has become one of the most quoted books used by American educators and is one of the primary road maps for a holistic educational approach. This taxonomy is a classification of levels of intellectual behavior and objectives necessary to the learning process. It is used for development of educational programs and creates a common means of communication for educators.

History

1990s Bloom’s Taxonomy Modifications were made by a new group of cognitive psychologists. Lorin Anderson, a former student of Bloom’s, headed the project. In this revision one of the most significant changes was a conversion of the original nouns at each level to verbs. The following list enumerates these differences:

  • Knowledge -> Remembering
  • Comprehension -> Understanding
  • Application -> Applying
  • Analysis -> Analyzing
  • Synthesis -> Synthesizing
  • Evaluation -> Creating

How today’s technological processes can be integrated with bloom’s taxonomy

Edtechvision.org proposes updating Bloom’s Taxonomy so that it is more relevant to contemporary educational environments. A summary of their proposed mapping of Bloom’s 1990 version is listed below.

Remembering

  • Includes using digital techniques to highlight, bookmark and Google key data.

Understanding

  • Advanced Searching and Boolean Searching – At this level students employ more sophisticated techniques to create and refine searches.
  • Categorizing – The digital aspect can include organizing and classifying files and web sites.
  • Commenting and annotating – Adding notes to documents is analogous to handwritten notes but indexing and linking opportunities can enhance understanding.
  • Sharing – uploading and sharing of materials is a simple form of collaboration.

Analyzing

  • Linking – This is establishing and building links within and outside of documents and web pages. Linking can help understand interrelationships and process flows.
  • Reverse-engineering – aids in understanding how physical and abstract construction can be accomplished.
  • Validating – The analysis can help students to evaluate the quality of information sources.

Evaluating

  • Blog commenting and reflecting – Students commenting and replying to postings evaluate the material.
  • Posting – Students post well thought out and structured comments to blogs and discussions.
  • Moderating – Moderators evaluate postings assessing value and suitability.
  • Collaborating and networking – Effective collaboration involves evaluating the participants’ abilities and contributions. Networking is a form of communication that takes place.

Creating

  • Programming, Filming, Digital Image Development and Writing are all potential components within the process of creating.

Conclusion

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a valuable tool for education because it provides a framework for educators and cognitive psychologists to communicate about fundamental educational concepts. However, for it to be effective over a significant time period, it must be re-evaluated and updated to reflect contemporary factors. The technology of our time is extremely significant to the education process. Bloom’s Taxonomy was designed to be reinterpreted for best use. A first example was Bloom’s updated taxonomy. Today it should be updated again.

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