Whether you are a trained teacher or not, education is now your business. When I taught in school, I firmly believed that professional development was important for teachers. I firmly believe that the same is true for homeschoolers. We need to be engaged on a regular basis in learning the craft of teaching and figuring out how to apply it in our homes.
If you were an education student, or a psychology student, you no doubt know of Bloom’s Taxonomy. In the mid-’50’s, Benjamin Bloom came up with a taxonomy that described some aspects that are important to learning behavior. You’ll notice as you go through the taxonomy that each area is somewhat dependent on the mastery of the previous area.
I’d like to introduce you to Bloom’s Taxonomy (or review it for you) and then we’ll look at some ways to apply it in our homeschools.
This emphasizes mastery of the basic content. After all, students cannot get a grasp of more abstract principles without knowing the basics first. Verbs that demonstrate knowledge would include: tell, list, describe, relate, locate, write, find, state, and name. At this level of the taxonomy, students should be able to simply recite information back.
Comprehension goes beyond basic mastery of simple content into comprehending how all the pieces fit together. Students move beyond simple knowledge into the realm of comprehension when they can: explain, interpret, outline, discuss, distinguish, predict, restate, translate, compare or describe. While I like to think of the above as simply “spitting back information,” I think of comprehension as the student being able to not only give me back basic information but to explain it.
Application is taking the new information that has been mastered and explained and applying similar principles in new areas. Verbs like solve, show, use, illustrate, construct, complete, examine, and classify; all move the student into applying their new found comprehension.
Come back later for more on Bloom’s Taxonomy and how you can use it in your homeschool!