Learning is…

The three learning taxonomies were a helpful tool to classify processes of thinking and learning in a systematic way.  I liked aspects of each of them, which made it difficult for me to pick sides during last week’s class session. Although I do agree with grad602‘s statement about their similarity, it did see some subtle differences between them.

In my opinion, Bloom’s taxonomy was the most intuitive way of thinking about encouraging and facilitating students to climb to the highest level of thought. The six cognitive process dimensions (Remember-Understand-Apply-Analyze-Evaluate-Create) describe the learning cycle by emphasizing that each dimension must be mastered before moving on to the next level. I find this to be a useful basis to create curricula, syllabi, and evaluation methods.  

Despite the rather confusing visual representation, I identified several valuable aspects of the SOLO taxonomy. I liked the fact that it focused on different levels of “informational connectivity” to depict the evolution of learning. Moving from identifying unconnected pieces of information to creating multiple (new) connections between them is particularly important in today’s world, in which information is abundant, freely available, and at times contradictory.

I like Shulman’s Table of Learning, because it emphasizes that learning begins with motivation and engagement. It sets the stage for fruitful learning. The following levels (i.e., knowledge and understanding, performance and action, reflection and critique, and judgement and design) are comparable to Bloom’s cognitive process dimensions. Finally, Shulman’s last step of “commitment and identity” stands out to me. It highlights that successful learning shapes students’ identities, the way they view the world.


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