Bloom’s and Thinking

With the advent of the twenty first century, Bloom’s Taxonomy was revised and all the descriptors were changed to verbs.  One revised view looks like this

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How does this model serve the needs of our students and their lives?

Some might argue that the model is still too “bottom-heavy” as it appears to remain focused on “remembering” – a very low skill level.  Probably not quite as transformative and maybe also why packets still remain in classrooms as there is that “base knowledge” that students need to know . . . before they can move on to a higher order thinking skill.

So should we JUST flip it over and indulge in more creating (note = NOT crafting) and less emphasis on “rote memory”?

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So visually, the colors and words did NOT match so I struggled with thinking and re-thinking about what a re-conceptualism would look like.  “But my goal of drawing” this electronically was proving to be a challenge. So as a veteran color coder, I quickly fixed the word order and colors so I could literally compare apples to apples and the same levels across the board.  Creating was back at the top as you can see in the next iteration!

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Some might argue that “Remembering” truly does need a bigger section and that would also help this triangle better “stand on its own base without danger of tipping over. I can go with that.  Some might argue that this might serve to show the cumulative outcomes of an entire educational history.

But what if . . . since we know that we are boring many students, still providing students with few choices, and not giving them a voice to co-construct evidence of learning, we shifted this view again?

My goal – reenvision how much time is spent on each of the six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. What would the graphic look like if it more accurately portrayed the time that students need to be doing the thinking, reading, and writing work during the school day?

How do we shift to what STUDENTS need?

What if the shape was more of an hourglass?

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Where does your work as a teacher fit right now? 

Are you creating?

Are you analyzing and applying a lot?   

What would your new “thinking” or “curiosity” about Bloom’s lead you to?

How does this fit or align for students?




Can’t stop thinking – even if it is a Saturday . . . How would you “re-draw” Bloom’s?

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10 responses

  1. Fran, you are brilliant. I love the idea of bringing in more creativity. As a gifted teacher, it is essential to the way I teach, but I am so hard pressed to find it in the “curriculum.” We’ve sucked out all the creativity of teaching by focusing on testing. It’s a true disservice to our students and to the future of our nation.

    1. Margaret,
      So much work and conversation around this topic because it’s also not always linear, but does there need to be some knowledge base in the beginning? We’ve also discussed, at multiple grade levels, that student writing is not always creating. If recalling facts or evidence, it’s still only “remembering”. Kind of like TpT – adding chevrons does not make it creating! (IMO) 🙂

  2. Yes, I like the hourglass design but Margaret is on point. Sadly, not much time for true creativity in today’s classrooms. I’m thinking the application and analysis bars should maybe be a bit larger too???

    1. Kim,
      I had Application and Analysis on the same level for awhile with it the longest total bar, but I had to separate it – not YET that big of a risk.

      I’m also stuck on: Is this the ideal? The real world? ???? Too curious by far!

      Thanks for your ideas!

  3. Yes, and I think it also depends on a teacher’s perspective. I work with only strugglers and we spend A LOT of time at the lower levels because sometimes things just don’t “stick”.

    1. That is so important, Kim as sometimes our pace is not what students need and more time needs to be devoted to the work and talk of figuring it all out!

  4. Fran, I’m a little late to be finally reading this, but I am intrigued and impressed by the thinking you offer here! Currently in the middle of MaryAnne Wolfe’s new book myself right now (Reader, Come Home (Harper, 2018), I am thinking a lot about the need for building “stores of knowledge” as a prerequisite for critical thinking. How can one think across knowledge of events and ideas, for example, if one simply does not know enough and relies solely on Google to locate the information that might live in the “remembering” tier of this taxonomy. You pose an interesting question/challenge in your post here: “What would the graphic look like if it more accurately portrayed the time that students need to be doing the thinking, reading, and writing work during the school day?” Thanks for this!

    1. Lanny, version 2.0 in the next week or so. How to accurately convey ideas when I really can’t draw is a challenge!!! But it is all complicated!

  5. […] Bloom’s and Thinking – Reconceptualizing Bloom’s […]

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