Thinking about teaching and learning
So...are 80% of the questions/activities we pose at our students really at the factual/procedural recall level? I would like to think that the level of cognitive demand in our classrooms would contradict this study. I know the youngest learners encounter all level of Bloom's taxonomy. They reach the comprehension level as they compare/contrast, describe, estimate and interpret. They reach the application level when they show, relate, solve and classify. They analyze when they explain and infer. The synthesis level is reached each time they predict an outcome and they evaluate when they conclude, support or explain their findings. Our conversations in class do not stay at the factual/procedural level and the students complete assignments that reach all levels of the taxonomy. You visit classrooms on a regular basis...are we close to the 80% factual/procedural mark schoolwide or do you see signs of students being given high-level work? I know there is always room for improvement. Maybe we need to look at some of the assignments we are giving our students and see what level on the taxonomy they are reaching. I will be very conscious this fall that my new students are being exposed to high-level questions and work on a daily basis. I don't want to be part of the 80% statistic!
It sounds like we need to break out the butcher paper. Actually, based on my observations, I see a wide variety of questions - that was one of the things that Doug Fisher commended us for - asking excellent, thought provoking questions. It would be well worth our efforts to consistently monitor the levels of our questions to be sure we are not falling into a rut at the lower levels.
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