Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bloom's Taxonomy

I was pondering my own stupidity this morning. Just generally I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. (but smarter than some by the very impulse to consider it).

My tendency has always been to blame the wolves who raised me. Stupid begets stupid. But does it? I know plenty who have pulled themselves up from nothing into really brilliant somethings. So the blame game is hardly appropriate.

Then I began thinking about an incident when I had my software consultant company. My business partner was out of town and I needed to tend the software emergency of one of her clients. I had never met this client before and when I attempted to understand her problem, she was jumping ideas too quickly. I said, "Whoa, A to Z. How did it start?" And she smiled and said, "Oh, I forgot that you are not Valerie (my biz partner). She and I are abstract thinkers, and you, I see, are a linear thinker."

I was so undereducated as to have to go home and look up abstract vs linear thinking. I got her problem fixed but her impatience with me was palpable. As was my newly discovered shame about my brain.

How does this happen? How did I get to be the dull, wet sand beneath the ocean while Valerie dazzled clients, glittering on the beach? Did the fact that Val had a degree in nuclear physics have anything to do with it?

I ran across Bloom's Taxonomy while researching this a bit this morning. 1956. I graduated high school in 1956. I think I was just late to the party.

Definition: The Bloom taxonomy is a classification system developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom that describes various stages or levels in the process of learning new information. Bloom conducted a study of instruction and assessment practices. The study found that nearly all traditional instruction methods taught students at a simple recall and recognition level. Rote learning was the dominant teaching model. Bloom and his researchers wanted to increase the rigor of instruction and challenge learners to reach higher thought processes in learning. Bloom's taxonomy included six levels of understanding:

Knowledge - The basic awareness level of knowing;
Comprehension - The emergence of understanding;
Application - The ability to use knowledge and understanding to perform tasks;
Analysis - The ability to think about information in a critical way with comparison, contrast, and categorization; and
Evaluation - The ability to objectively assess information and determine its strengths, limitations, and potential improvements.

Also Known As: levels of knowledge, cognitive skills

Maybe in my next life....but I find it all very interesting, nevertheless.


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