Oh no.. not Bloom again..

pyramide av steinerI am sitting in a lecture about the National Qualification Assurance Framework (or Kvalitetsrammeverket, as we say in Norway). The lecturer has taken us through what it is, how we can implement it at our college and to think practical and pragmatic about these issues.

But my problem started when he was describing the foundations on which the framework was built: Blooms taxonomy. Oh, no.. here we go again.

Well.. to start with the beginning:

The National Qualification Assurance Framework is an effort from the EU to standardise what students should know or be able to when graduating from college or university. Simplified, it means that the educational institutions must describe the goals and learning outcomes of each subject taught at the institution. The framwork is separated into three cycles, cycle one is undergraduate/ bachelor students, cycle two is master and cycle three is PhD. Each of these cycles are divided into three levels: knowledge, skills and general competence and there should be descriptions of what students on the different cycles should be able to do or know within the three levels. (If you can read Norwegian you can find more information here: http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kd/tema/hoyere_utdanning/nasjonalt-kvalifikasjonsrammeverk.html?id=564809)

When describing these levels and cycles, and the content of each, the government chose to use Blooms taxonomy. I do not know where to start when explaining why this is not only fruitless and a waste of time, but downright wrong. Maybe (yes, maybe) the taxonomy made sense in earlier days. Maybe we could divide levels of learning like that before, but we cannot do that anymore. The taxonomy explains lower level thinking skills to be remembering and then understanding and applying and the higher order thinking skills to be analysing, evaluating and creating. But the post-digital-revolution students do not work like that. In this era we start creating at a much earlier stage. You must know something before you can use it, but what kind of knowledge? And I am far from alone criticizing the taxonomy:

Eric Wignall is blogging about it here

Donald Clark is blogging about it here

and there are many more. Just google it if you don`t believe me.

I am just wondering: Why do we want to base our framework on something as “unscientific” as Bloom`s taxonomy?

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