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Parents, understanding a bit about Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a tremendous help when you are trying to help your child with Executive Function challenges. It can help inspire you to help your child THINK AT HIGHER LEVELS! We want kids to develop “critical thinking skills” so they can better navigate life. This vides breaks down some pertinent ideas for you.
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Hey, what’s up, parents? This is another video in my series that I’m doing for you during this time (COVID-19) when there’s a lot of at-home learning. I’m trying to teach you some of my favorite concepts for me when I was a teacher for 12 years. I have a Master’s in gifted and talented education. I totally get this stuff and there are a lot of things that teachers have learned where we can give you a few nuggets as you’re navigating the time so that you can do so in a better way with your child so they get more out of their education, regardless of what’s going on in the world.
We want to be planting seeds for a kid’s future and one of the one really cool models that many teachers use, that I’m in love with, is this model called Bloom’s Taxonomy. I will tell you why this matters, using one of my favorite things, guitar. So the idea of Bloom’s Taxonomy in the way that I think it’s really important is that you know our kids have all of these educational experiences where they have a teacher, they have a class, they have assignments, they have homework, they have classwork. They have all of these educational experiences that are supposed to deliver a result. However, unfortunately, oftentimes our students are just trying to get things done. Get it over with. Cross it off the list. They want you or the teacher to get off their back. They just want to be done with it because they’re not engaged in the learning experience for the sake of learning. The older they get, sometimes the harder it is jumping through hoops, taking tests, writing papers, and doing busy work.
The reason why Bloom’s Taxonomy is so valuable and how you might be able to apply this is that a lot of what goes on in school particularly in the middle and high school years is lower-level work. A lot of times it’s not high-level thinking. What Bloom’s shows is higher levels of thinking and what we want for our kids when they graduate high school or college. We want our kids to be critical thinkers. We want them to know how to think. We want them to know how to learn, how to be called an autonomous learner. Credit to George Bette, an autonomous learner is somebody who knows how to create their own learning experience through schooling. Ideally, they’re going to come out of schooling knowing how to think and knowing how to learn and knowing how to grow.
So Bloom’s Taxonomy again. A lot of times things that happened in education, such as worksheets, answer the questions at the end of the chapter, finish this assignment. These are very task-oriented and they’re often very low-level. They don’t require a lot of deep thinking, critical thinking learning. They’re not actually really tapping into that, again, because just trying to cross it off the list and get it done. Putting in as little effort into it as humanly possible. This is very factual. This is a knowledge base, just the knowledge. With the guitar, I know the guitar at a very low level. I’ve never played the guitar before and I bet I know what it is. That low-level next is understanding. I might be able to explain a little bit about why I understand what a guitar is to somebody who doesn’t know.
Next is to be able to apply it so we know what it is. We understand what it is. Now, we can apply the knowledge at a little bit higher level. A lot of schools have a little bit of application in the learning experiences. That is where we are using what we understand in new ways.
And then the next one is to be able to analyze now. This is starting good higher-level stuff. This is where we can more deeply start to look at whatever it is. We can analyze the guitar in different ways.
Next is to evaluate and create. These are very very very high-level. So to evaluate, to really be able to evaluate this guitar, I might be able to say “Oh well, these pickups are called humbuckers and these are a specific type of humbuckers that give a specific sound, these four knobs, there’s two-volume in two-tone knobs, and if you turn the volume you’ll be able to get tonal variations and you know how to use this will switch to pick up so that you can use the pickups in different ways. This fretboard is made of a certain type of wood and the neck is a certain tonal quality. This is a certain type of way. They get certain tonal qualities these I’m tuning pegs right here trying to point to the right place these tuning pegs right here are a certain type of tuning pegs that have certain advantages.” I can evaluate at a very high level. I could speak to people about this stuff who are at that level with me for hours week; geek out on this stuff and finally create. Could I build my own guitar? Could I write my own songs? Could I write my own solo and play in the middle of a song with the band? Could I create that very very very high level? Now we have students evaluating at a high level and creating at a high level in the different content areas.
Oftentimes teachers have to cover for curriculum and they’re in a race from day one of school to cover everything in the textbook or the standards are the common core. They often don’t have the time or resources to be able to really deliver on all that stuff in a lot of times, less is more. So anyhow, you parents are going through this time at home whether or not your child is engaged in the classes that they’re in, you still want them to be getting into evaluation and creation at higher-level thinking into critical thinking in their lives as much as possible, even if you’re learning to cook a new dish together. When you guys are evaluating and creating this, they’re learning stuff, or whatever the case may be, whether guys are reading a book together, etcetera, but you want them in that higher-level thought really.
I’m going to leave you with one of the easiest ways to get your child into higher-level thought. Basically look at what they are already highly interested in, passionate about, curious about, where the strengths are, where their own personal gifts are, and their talents, wherever they already are at a higher level because they are curious and that’s what matters to them. It’s purposeful to them and they like it, and they’re interested to take those and help them get deeper with those areas. They’re giving you the hint right there. You can tell what they’re interested in. How can you creatively take those things and help deepen the thinking around that so that they can continue to practice higher-level which will impact their future and empower them to have more choices possibilities than their life?
My name is Seth Perler, I’m an executive function coach in Colorado and help struggling students navigate this thing called education so that they can have a great life. If you like what I’m doing please give me a thumbs-up on YouTube. Please help me grow my following and get my word out to more people and please subscribe to my website and share with as many people as you can. Share it like crazy so that we can help as many kids as possible. Be safe, be well, be kind to each other. I hope you have a little bit of peace in your heart today and some joy, and I’ll see you soon. Take care.