Bloom's Taxonomy is a very useful framework for developing quality inquiry based lessons. The following is some history and a summary of the framework itself.
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Bloom found that over 95 % of the test questions students encounter require them to think only at the lowest possible level...the recall of information.
Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. Verb examples that represent intellectual activity on each level are listed here.
6. Evaluation: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate. The following is a list of key words to determine which level of learning is taken place.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives - Cognitive Domain:
Knowledge. Remembering information - Define, identify, label, state, list, match
Comprehension. Explaining the meaning of information - Describe, generalize, paraphrase, summarize, estimate
Application. Using abstractions in concrete situations - Determine, chart, implement, prepare, solve, use, develop
Analysis. Breaking down a whole into component parts- Points out, differentiate, distinguish, discriminate, compare
Synthesis. Putting parts together to form a new and integrated whole - Create, design, plan, organize, generate, write
Evaluation. Making judgments about the merits of ideas, materials, or phenomena - Appraise, critique, judge, weigh, evaluate, select
" Supplemental Material." The National Teaching & Learning Forum. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. .
Another helpful framework for inquiry based learning is Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence.
Howard Gardner initially formulated a list of seven intelligences. His listing was provisional. The first two have been typically valued in schools; the next three are usually associated with the arts; and the final two are what Howard Gardner called 'personal intelligences' (Gardner 1999: 41-43).
Linguistic intelligence involves sensitivity to spoken and written language, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to use language to accomplish certain goals. This intelligence includes the ability to effectively use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically; and language as a means to remember information. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers are among those that Howard Gardner sees as having high linguistic intelligence.
Logical-mathematical intelligence consists of the capacity to analyze problems logically, carry out mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. In Howard Gardner's words, it entails the ability to detect patterns, reason deductively and think logically. This intelligence is most often associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.
Musical intelligence involves skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. It encompasses the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones, and rhythms. According to Howard Gardner musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence entails the potential of using one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Howard Gardner sees mental and physical activity as related.
Spatial intelligence involves the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
Interpersonal intelligence is concerned with the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people. It allows people to work effectively with others. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counsellors all need a well-developed interpersonal intelligence.
Intrapersonal intelligence entails the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations. In Howard Gardner's view it involves having an effective working model of ourselves, and to be able to use such information to regulate our lives.
Since Howard Gardner's original listing of the intelligences in Frames of Mind (1983) there has been a great deal of discussion as to other possible candidates for inclusion (or candidates for exclusion). Subsequent research and reflection by Howard Gardner and his colleagues has looked to three particular possibilities: a naturalist intelligence, a spiritual intelligence and an existential intelligence. He has concluded that the first of these 'merits addition to the list of the original seven intelligences' (Gardner 1999: 52).
Naturalist intelligence enables human beings to recognize, categorize and draw upon certain features of the environment. It 'combines a description of the core ability with a characterization of the role that many cultures value' (ibid.: 48).
Existential intelligence, a concern with 'ultimate issues'
The following chart provides classroom activities incorporating Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence.
"Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning." WLIW21. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. .