It's about time, teachers, ... to revisit Higher Order Thinking Skills or HOTS. If you've been a teacher for more than 5 minutes, you must have some knowledge of Benjamin Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Did you know Benjamin is not actually the author of the taxonomy? It bears his name simply because he chaired the committee that developed it. So, the next time someone asks you to chair a committee, you may want to say "Yes."
It seems like Bloom's Taxonomy has been around forever. Actually, it's been around since 1956, which for most of the educators at work today IS forever. It's been 56 years and it's still going strong. Although, it has morphed some over the decades. When 1st proposed, the taxonomy strove to deal with 3 domains of education: cognitive, affective, & psychomotor. The goal of the 3 domains was to produce holistic education. Over time, however, the cognitive domain has become the taxonomy we all think of when Bloom's Taxonomy is mentioned. In fact, each domain was to have it's own handbook, but after publishing the cognitive domain handbook, it took 8 years for the affective domain handbook to be written and the psychomotor domain handbook was never written!
Too often, I think, the taxonomy is taught and used in educating gifted and talented learners. That may be a matter of practicality. The taxonomy is scaffolded; the lower levels must be broad and strong in order for the upper levels to be built. In an age of standardized testing mania, knowledge and comprehension, the foundation levels, are the name of the game. Since those are the most easily evaluated components, performance is naturally based on those levels. And so, I surmise that only the teachers of G/T have the time to work on the upper levels of the taxonomy since their students, presumably, have the requisite knowledge and understanding.
Let's not dwell in the basement, teachers! It takes more work to bring your students to the upper levels of the taxonomy. The payoff, however, is well worth the effort. Who doesn't want to spend their time in the penthouse rather than the basement?
Following is Bloom's Taxonomy model in 2 versions:
Any student of the taxonomy knows that there are lists of verbs to help us remember how to incorporate each level into our teaching. While I am a visual learner, perusing those lists tends to make my eyes roll to the back of my head. So, I created the following visual to expeditiously remind me what each level should look like.
I don't know if Easter eggs brought this to mind or the hatchlings that spring promises us, but I do know that teachers everywhere need to break out of their shells and push their students to work in the higher levels. Our children deserve to be grade A educated.
Now I'll climb down from my soap box and get back to dyeing eggs.