Challenge beyond Bloom’s

A Chemical Orthodoxy

What makes one question hard and another one easy?

When I trained, Bloom’s taxonomy was everywhere. Personally, I haven’t really paid it much attention in quite a while, but I was reminded recently that it is still used extensively in a wide range of teaching and learning contexts. Issues with Bloom’s have received fairly thorough public airings, with both Doug Lemov and David Didau outlining some problems and presenting their own taxonomies, complete with snazzy graphics (1).

These critiques focus on issues of knowledge and transferability – namely disputing proponents who argue that spending time “analysing” in a lesson improves students’ general skills of analysis (please also make sure to see (3) below).

Those critiques are important and, to my mind, absolutely in line with the evidence from cognitive science. Here, I want to focus on a different aspect of Bloom’s: the way that it can be used to increase…

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