As I reflect upon what I learned by virtually attending FlipCon14 last week, one things that really stuck with me is a discussion on Bloom’s Taxonomy in the flipped classroom.
As we have heard from nearly every education professor in the world, we should strive to assess the upper levels of Bloom’s. We want the students to apply and analyze and evaluate and create! And, most of the time we expect our students to complete these challenging tasks without guidance or assistance from us, the experts!
As a child from what Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams called “an educationally privileged family,” I never had to worry much about not being able to complete my homework as a student. My parents were always able to help me with any tricky homework assignments that I had…and if they couldn’t help, we called my uncle the engineer! I always had books to read and someone to help me study for a test or recite memory for my religion class. Only after I became a teacher did I realize just how lucky I am. All of our students, in fact one could argue the vast majority of our students, do not readily have access to these study partners and tutors called parents. Some students have parents that work late or have multiple jobs, and their parents simply aren’t there to help with the homework. Some of our students are required to have jobs, and are sometimes expected to support the family with their income, which decreases the importance of finishing those Algebra problems or that world map assignment.
Enter the concept of flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Why do we do the so-called “easy stuff” with our students in class, and then require them to do the “hard stuff” at home without our guidance or assistance? What happens if students don’t finish their homework, or don’t understand the concept at home? What if there’s no one at home to help them?
We all have students who fall in this category, but we all have students on the other end of the spectrum as well. Students that are high achieving, quick learners, fast writers, or gifted students. As we stop and explain concepts over and over again, or wait to move on to the next slide, those higher level students get bored. They start working on other homework, they start doodling in their notebooks, attempting to “check the time” on their phones, talking, disrupting, etc.
The flipped classroom model can help eliminate issues that students on both ends of the spectrum have. Students who have little educational support at home are no longer responsible for accessing the highest levels of Bloom’s without guidance from the teacher/expert. Our high achieving quick learners are no longer bored in our classes, waiting for their classmates to catch up, and are rather engaged in challenging activities within the classroom.
The flipped classroom model allows students to access the lower levels of Bloom’s, “Understanding” and Remembering,” on their own time, and provides the opportunity to practice knowledge in challenging and engaging tasks with their teacher and peers. This almost seems like a “no-brainer!”
I’ll be documenting my “flipped” journey this fall. Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading 🙂