TAXONOMY: the science or technique of classification.

TAXONOMY

One way to corral and understand complex systems is to break them down into categories which make sense.   For instance, a company that markets a specific product may want to identify the various categories of customers:

  • everyday customers
  • infrequent customers
  • one-time customers
  • special orders

In doing this, the marketing techniques employed to reach these various categories can be specialized and adapted to appeal to the regularity of need for the product.

The word describing such classification systems is taxonomy.

The foundation for our use of  the word taxonomy belongs to Dr. Benjamin Bloom.   In 1956 he published a guide to methodology in higher thinking.  An educational psychologist, Dr. Bloom articulated how to move educational process from memorization to methods of higher thinking.    His research group  identified three categories of learning:  cognitive, affective and psychomotor.   They had to do with the distinctions between knowledge, attitude and skills.  The acknowledgement of these three different ways of approaching learning led to a clarification of teaching methods.

We are hearing a lot about educational reform these days, following the research and analysis of the results of the American educational systems.   They aren’t good.   It would seem that our methods of teaching (for the most part) are grounded in archaic understandings of what it means to become knowledgeable…and how to apply it to the work necessary to maintain and improve our society.    There have been numerous attempts to reorder our educational system.  Most have been failures.

In recent years the growth of technology as a regular part of our lifestyle has demanded new learnings.     At the same time, the technology age has shown us what we have yet to discover, and that it is infinite in comparison to the learnings of past centuries.  Awareness of the way we learn is more important than ever.   Taxonomy becomes more than a convenient intellectual exercise and translates into a crucial methodology for designing our educational systems from birth through old age.

The process for developing a new educational process in our country is a daunting exercise.   It faces huge hurdles, not the least of which is economics.   There are opposing forces which advocate radical changes and those which militantly protect a revered and comfortable existing pattern.   Someplace in between is the answer.   We don’t want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” in order to move forward.  But neither do we want to “wallow in dirty bathwater ” that has become cold and incapable of cleansing.

Bloom could never have understood just how important his group’s thinking was to become in America.   The decisions about how to apply it to much-needed educational reform in the 21st century is a massive undertaking which calls forth the most creative and bold thinkers of our time…and leaders of our country with the courage to implement methods required.

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 Illustration Credit:  Trainiac.com

  • Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
  • Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
  • Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

– See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf

  • Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
  • Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
  • Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

– See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf

promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). – See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf
Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). – See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf
Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). – See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf
Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). – See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M
Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in 1956 under the leadership of educational psychologist Dr Benjamin Bloom in order to promote higher forms of thinking in education, such as analyzing and evaluating, rather than just remembering facts (rote learning). – See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf
  • Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
  • Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
  • Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

– See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpuf

  • Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
  • Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude or self)
  • Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

– See more at: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html#sthash.qTus568M.dpu

Illustration Credit:  Trainiac.com

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