In the middle of the 20th century, the American psychologist and pedagogue Benjamin Bloom, together with other collaborators, devised a model called Bloom's taxonomy, the purpose of which is to try to explain how children's learning should be structured and organized. This resulted in a pyramid with steps that teachers can use to achieve children are protagonists of their own learning, promoting a form of education with a comprehensive vision.
We are going to know a little more about this pyramid related to children's learning. First of all, we must bear in mind that Bloom's taxonomy is divided into three domains: the cognitive, the affective and the psychomotor.
On this occasion, we are going to focus on the cognitive, which refers to the intellectual area of the students. This takes into account that there are lower and higher order skills, which evolve from the simple and concrete to the complex and abstract. We begin by knowing the steps related to lower-order skills:
1. The first step is to remember
It requires mastery of memory and refers to reproducing the knowledge we possess. In the classroom, it is possible to see if this level has been exceeded when we observe that our student is capable of recovering a fact, citing a previously read phrase, making a list, defining, etc.
Based on the characteristics of this first ability to 'remember', Bloom's taxonomy relates a series of verbs. All of them indicate that the student has passed this first level. These verbs are some like: recognize, reproduce, identify, describe, define, mark, etc.
2. Second level: understand
It can be seen if the student has acquired this level if he is able to make sense of what he has learned, understanding concepts and explaining them in his own words, being able to give examples.
The verbs that are associated with this category are: summarize, describe, interpret, classify, compare, exemplify, etc.
3. At the third level we find the need to apply
It would be about putting into practice the previous knowledge that we have. What helps to discover if the students have passed this level would be that they can develop a final task.
Certain verbs are usually: use, perform, execute, implement, share, illustrate, etc.
As we have already mentioned, the cognitive domain of Bloom's pyramid includes lower order skills (the ones we just saw) and higher order skills. Let's understand these a little better!
4. The fourth step of our pyramid: analyze
It requires a reasoning that goes from the general to the concrete so that the student is able to decompose and identify the relationship between concepts or ideas.
In this category the student must acquire skills related to the following verbs: organize, discriminate, compare, structure, link, value, etc.
5. At the fifth level: evaluate
It is related to the ability to analyze and make an assessment of the procedure followed during the execution of a task.
The verbs associated with this level are: criticize, review, experiment, detect, test, formulate hypotheses, etc.
6. The highest point of the pyramid: create
The student must become critically aware of all the previously acquired knowledge to generate new structures.
Some of the related verbs could be: design, build, plan, devise, elaborate, invent, etc.
As you can see, the verbs presented in each of the levels help to design activities according to each of these. To learn more about the verbs in each of the steps of the pyramid, you can consult the document on Bloom's taxonomy prepared by the University of Itson (Mexico).
Although we have wanted to focus on the cognitive domain of children, since it is the one that refers to the intellectual development of children, we cannot forget that the affective and psychomotor part is also important in children's learning. Therefore, we address them below.
- Affective domain
It refers to the awareness and personal growth of students in relation to attitudes and emotions, both their own and those of others. This domain includes five levels, arranged in a hierarchical manner, from the simplest to the most complex level, which must be achieved consecutively: reception, response, assessment, organization and characterization.
- Psychomotor domain
It concerns the change developed in the behavior, dexterity and psychomotor abilities of students. For example, the manipulation of objects. This domain comprises five levels: perception, predisposition, guided response, mechanical response, and evident complete response.
Bloom's taxonomy should be considered as a guide for teachers It guides them towards the construction of student learning. It is an essential tool that teachers must use to establish learning goals and objectives, promoting progressive cognitive development and student-centered learning.
When the educational professional programs the contents to be taught in the classroom, they must mainly take into account the previous knowledge of the students, being able to establish a level according to these and having to progressively advance to the highest levels by sequencing the different activities. To do this, it is necessary to attend to the pyramid in which the different objectives are manifested, which help to progressively advance in cognitive processes, internalized through these didactic proposals.
It can be noted that, the main idea of the taxonomy is hierarchically place what teachers want their students to learn. The levels are successive and gradual, that is, to go to the next level they must have acquired the previous levels, so we can know the skills acquired by the students.
Regarding the benefits that this type of pyramid learning brings to students:
- It can be said that it helps them become critically aware of their own learning overcoming the different levels at the pace that each one needs, thus attending to inclusion and attention to the diversity of the classroom.
- Likewise, since it is a learning process in which students are actively involved by being the protagonist of their own learning, it would lead to a meaningful and functional learning, being able to generalize said knowledge to other contexts.
- On the other hand, by practicing the higher levels reflected in the pyramid, it is possible to refer to active methodologies, which aim to train competent students who are capable of using their creativity to solve problems in everyday life.
In conclusion, highlight that it is a key tool in today's education It presents a multitude of essential benefits to train citizens who can function satisfactorily in society.
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