A good portion of the last week has been spent in the company of Benjamin Bloom. I am currently designing a small project on Butterflies aimed at the 9-12 age group. Butterflies are amazing creatures. Every year, Monarch butterflies, make the 3,000 mile journey to Mexico to escape the eastern U.S. winter. They navigate using the sun and their extraordinary ability to see the bands of the Earth’s magnetic field. I think Mr. Bloom and his Taxonomy of Educational\ Learning Objectives could help me convey some of the wonder of these creatures.
Bloom’s Taxonomies are very interesting but I find it takes quite a bit of time to understand them. Three Domains exist; Cognitive, Pyschomotor and Affective. Each Domain corresponds to a different area of learning. A Domain is subdivided into levels, so far, so good. You must first master the learning in the base level before proceeding to the next level. The skills contained in each individual level are extensive. The first base level in the Cognitive Domain is Knowledge. Each level has associated active verbs. Kennedy (2007) includes the active verb ‘Name’ in the Cognitive Domain’s Knowledge Level. This is beginning to become clearer as I can see how I can use the active verb as a stem-word to form a learning outcome sentence.
The active verb ‘Name’ is one of the easier outcomes to understand. I could recite the ‘Name’ all the rivers of Ireland proving that I had acquired knowledge but to go further and identify them on a map is another level of difficulty. It would require a different skill, the learner would need to select a learning outcome from a different level. I also reconsidered what I wanted to teach. There are lots of butterfly facts already available on the internet butterflies but I wanted to make my audience appreciate the wonder of the creatures. As a result I widen my search to include Bloom’s Affective Domain.
The Affective Domain
Hyland (2011) characterises the Affective Domain as “the awareness of feelings and emotions and their expressions in ever refined interests, attitudes, beliefs and value orientations” Hyland (2011, p.91). The Affective Domain is divided into five levels or steps to completion: Receiving, Responding, Valuing, Organisation and finally, Characterisation. This seemed to fit well with some of my course objectives.
The Valuing Level is certainly interesting. It promises to be a good way to teach children the more emotional aspect of my course. This week I will learn how to link the objectives from the different Domains together to provide a more effective method of instruction. I still have lots of questions. For example, must you consider all the levels from a particular Domain in a single lesson or can you pick and choose individual levels from different Domains? I imagine it all relates to individual objectives and desired outcomes. It will be an interesting and busy week ahead!
Hyland, T. (2011) Mindfulness and Learning Celebrating the Affective Dimension of Education, Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York: Springer.
Katkar, A. (2016) What life is like for a Butterfly, Anupam Katkar, 28 Jan, Available: https://anupamkatkar.com/2016/01/28/butterfly-intelligence-vision-senses/ [accessed 13 Mar 2021].
Kennedy, D. (2007) Writing and Using Learning Outcomes: A Practical Guide [online], available: https://cora.ucc.ie/handle/10468/1613
Monarch Butterfly (n.d.) nationalgeographic.com, available: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/monarch-butterfly [accessed 13 Mar 2021].
Butterfly Image Reference:
Monarch Butterfly: From Wikimedia Commons. Original by Tiago J. G. Fernandes