I was looking at a collection of images of Bloom’s taxonomy today and realized that I wanted a simple but more apt drawing that would capture my beliefs about how the taxonomy relates to learning. I had recently read some interesting thoughts about the fact that the taxonomy was not strictly conceived as a hierarchy:
Bloom et al. discussed at length their decision to apply an Aristotelian categorization method in their taxonomy. The choice was significant, because an Aristotelian method creates distinct, bounded categories ordered by complexity without the hierarchical assumption that higher-level categories always entail instantiation of those lower in the taxonomy (e.g., when evaluating, it is not always necessary to first apply and synthesize). Moreover, Aristotelian categorization emphasizes that these groupings are closely related and difficult to tease apart. . . . however, the division of the taxonomy of educational objectives into classes representing lower order … and higher order thinking … has prevailed in research.
Found at Dangerously Irrelevant by Scott McLeod
What I came up with for myself is this simplified diagram.
This captures more-or-less my thoughts that students can access learning by entering the taxonomy anywhere. Think about the Suzuki method of learning music, where children are not first introduced to the knowledge of the system of reading music, but instead are given the opportunity to create music. Or about Montessori schools where experiential activity that could be called creativity precedes knowledge.