Mimanifesto – Jaye’s weblog

I’m not really sold on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Posted on: April 1, 2013

I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable with Blooms. As with any hierarchy (and Maslow’s comes to mind, after a few years of teaching Psychology) its possible and common to skip levels, and move along, or up and down in discordance with the convention of gratifying one level before moving on up. I happen to think that this organising hierarchy is wrong in this day and age and that we might now need to revisit the revisited Blooms yet again. Knowledge acquisition, or remembering, in this day and age is now not going to be the cognitive base level any more. Indeed, the need to acquire skills in a set order is, in my view a defunct praxis. We discussed Blooms during an #EdchatSA tweet up on teaching critical thinking skills in schools.

I found this new model recently, and its one I much prefer. It places creativity at the centre with all the other former levels arranged around it like cogs all able to engage with the main ‘creativity’ cog. Put together by Cathy Shrock, I think it represents much more of a reality that the current pyramidal Blooms. As Cathy says,

Since the cognitive processes are meant to be used when necessary, and any learner goes up and down the categories as they create new knowledge, I was thinking another type of image might be more explanatory.


Here is my draft of the idea of the “interlocking of the cognitive processes” or the “Cogs of Cognition.

Does the traditional ‘Pyramid’ Blooms negate the importance of creativity to the other skills, and further, is not, or should not, creativity link to all the other levels? I think so, which is why I’m a fan of Cathy’s new model. We don’t need to flip blooms so that creativity is the first cognitive skill, we just need to get rid of the hierarchy that might well be (as is the case with many other traditional hierarchies) redundant in this day and age.

12 Responses to "I’m not really sold on Bloom’s Taxonomy"

Jaye, that is exactly what CfE is based on.

It’s amazing how a subtle, modeling graphical layout shift can totally change how we think about a concept. Good read.

Very nice! Flexibility in thinking makes learning much easier! However, many skills build constructively (like learning a new language), and you cannot advance much before you have the basics (like some vocabulary). Creativity helps, as you can survive with surprisingly meager vocabulary and grammar, and learn more as you go.

I have to agree with Damon, sometimes you can change how we think about a concept in one good diagram. This makes a lot of sense to me as I try to find a way to communicate to teachers what it means to ‘Engage’ with children’s minds.

I’ve designed several teacher trainings around developing lesson plans and curriculum with Blooms Taxonomy in mind. I always ask my teachers to design their own version of a visual for Blooms Taxonomy. I’ve seen plants, cakes, trains, and planetary systems as designs for illusTrating and thinking about levels of thinking… I LOVE the interlocking, weighted,, non-hierarchical gear design.. Beautiful, i really love that it causes me to re-examine some assumptions…

PS, I would like to share this visual with my teacher trainees… How can I obtain ms schrocks permission to use in my trainings?

I e-mailed Kathy Schrock directly and had a courteous affirmative reply asking me simply to direct people to the webpage and to make an acknowledgement.

Can you please provide a specific URL? I went to her page and perhaps the page we should direct people (and me) to is http://www.schrockguide.net/bloomin-apps.html

This should do it… kathy@kathyschrock.net Roger

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2013 05:50:04 +0000 To: yetscience@hotmail.co.uk

Thanks, everyone, for the input on permissions.

Thank you for this post, Jaye. It has introduced me to a range of resources, including those of Kathy Schrock, that I had not previously seen. It’s always fantastic to add to our repertoire of resources. Thanks again!

[…] I’m Not Really Sold on Bloom’s Taxonomy by Jaye Richards-Hill […]

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