10 April 2013

Bloom & Piaget in Practice

Usually when you take a test you cram and immediately after you forget everything. However, two and a half weeks ago I took the Praxis PLT, and two whole pieces of knowledge have stuck with me since: Bloom's Taxonomy, and Piaget's Stages of Development.

Finally, an attractive graphic for Bloom's Taxonomy. (You're welcome.)

I actually remember Bloom's Taxonomy from a really awkward acronym we memorized: KCAASE (pronounced K'Ka'a-suh, Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation). The Praxis forced me to return to it, and I've actually been planning units and assignments using it. For the most part it's basically common sense that, when learning, people move from knowing and comprehending to application and evaluation. Most teachers probably already employ some form of it. However, I tend to get stuck in the Application and Synthesis phases (learn by doing, I say), without giving much thought to the rest of it. But I'm changing, I promise.

If I may add a little editorial twist to the taxonomy, I prefer to think of it as a cycle, not a singular progression. And it doesn't matter where you start in the cycle. That is all.

Another application of Praxis-induced educational practice is Piaget's Stages of Development. The final stage is called Formal Operations, starting at around 11 years old. Since I teach junior high, they should already be there. In other words, they should be able to think abstractly about concepts, and consider hypothetical what-if scenarios. This is perfect for teaching students how to use software and be creative with it. You teach how to use some tools, then you give it to them to think, "What if I combined these tools to make a..."

So there you have it: evidence that there is such a thing as retention after assessment. I probably can't say the same thing for the GRE...

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