Another radical idea.

Again, another pedagogical flip, not unlike my earlier one for teaching a novel in which the teacher chooses not to read the novel his students read (blogpost May 6). Here, Shelley Wright (on plpnetwork.com May 15, 2012) proposes “Blooms21,” in which she advocates reversing Bloom’s revised taxonomy. As many educators know, Bloom proposed a hierarchy for teachers for planning and implementing lessons (1956), which in the new revised edition (1990’s) rephrases and slightly shifts the old. It begins with Remembering; then developing Understanding; then Applying it in new contexts; higher up to Analyzing it; later Evaluating the whole process; and finally after a long and “arduous” (Wright’s term) climb, Creating.

Wright proposes that teachers flip Bloom and start with Creating. Not just in the arts but in all subjects. What might this look like? Students enter the learning process in reverse and eventually come to Bloom’s lowest levels, Understanding and Remembering. Once a teacher accepts this approach, the process becomes easy to envision. So, how does it work? The teacher invites students (in any subject) to Create something new and different about what they are studying. Once done, she asks them to Evaluate their proposed idea. Then they ready  to Analyze what they’ve discovered and then test it by Applying it in a new context. Once they’ve completed the process to this point, they will have Understanding about what they’ve been studying and will certainly Remember, as they have done all the work. Isn’t that what teachers want students to do?

How cool is that?

Discover other such ideas in Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting Students to Learn  from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Middle-Room-Frank-Thoms/dp/0615358918

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