Tried and true strategies -- Most teachers are familiar with Bloom and Marzano as they go through the training process of what they hope becomes a long and successful career as an educator. However integrating these principles may not always be as successful as one might hope. But successful integration is a goal that we, as teachers, should always be striving toward because this is how we can move from being a teacher to a challenger of student thinking. Bloom’s Taxonomy paints a clear picture of how to make students think beyond the surface level. Marzano’s instructional strategies gives specific ideas on how to achieve successful student understanding. Going forward, my goal is consider how to continually blend the two together as I design my teaching.
See these links for Bloom’s Taxonomy: http://ww2.odu.edu/educ/roverbau/Bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm
Let’s consider an example from each in order to see how well the two work together. One of the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy asks us to have students evaluate concepts. We want our students to consider an idea and critique its principles. Marzano provides the idea of having students generate and test a hypothesis about the concept being studied. Perfect -- this is how we can evaluate. Have students consider a concept being taught in the classroom, look at it from all perspectives, predict the outcomes created by this concept, then evaluate the actual outcomes and how they can be changed. This is such better learning than “this president did this because of this, blah blah blah,” or “the chemicals react this way because of this, blah blah blah.” Students aren’t remembering much from that lesson, but they will learn when incorporating Bloom and Marzano in the lesson.
See these links for Marzano’s Instructional Strategies:
I’ve prided myself over the years in being able to consistently integrate these ideas into my Social Studies lessons. However, my new goal is to integrate them together. I need to think of them as complementary ideas because they will be strengthened and more effective when planned together. Instead of just having students create (Taxonomy Level 6), I need to have students create nonlinguistic representations of the concepts that they have learned and analyzed (Level 4). Bloom and Marzano go together so perfectly.
It’s also important that I reignite those conversations with my fellow teachers about Bloom and Marzano because they have became so entrenched in our thinking from those college years that we do not consider how to improve them. We also think of them too often as being mutually exclusive teaching concepts. But they aren’t at all. Look at them through the same lens; apply them to the same concept. Our students’ learning can only improve.