Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 2 Reflections

In Brazil it is very common to find lots of English teachers who don`t have any formal academic background in the area. Sometimes they have a job as an English teacher because they have lived abroad and are quite fluent and it`s an easy way to make some money while they are taking their major in college(and the major is not even necessarily related to languages or education). Expertise usually comes after years of practice and a lot of professional development opportunities, like conferences, workshops and special training sessions. In many countries, you can only get a job as a teacher after you have finished your undergraduate and graduate programs and have acquired deep knowledge in strategic areas, such as methodology, linguistics, psychology and grammar. Well, not in Brazil! I myself started working as a teacher before I reached my 20s, way before I decided to take a major in EFL in college. Because of this reality it is easy to conclude that theorical and academic knowledge are not necessarily the strongest assets among Brazilian teachers. And now you might be asking: what does it all have to do with this week`s input?
In fact, I must say that it is closely related to the texts I read this week. This is actually the first time I have read something about Bloom and his taxonomy and I am really happy because I`m getting genuine opportunities to refine my skills by adding a lot of theory and formal knowledge to my extensive experience in the classroom. By learning more theory I can surely reflect better about my practices and identify areas in which I can improve.
It took me hours of reading to absorb all the information and I had to search for additional sources to have a more complete understanding of the subject. First, I didn`t even know the meaning of the word taxonomy. I went to and read the definition. I also acessed Wikipedia and read some information about Bloom`s taxonomy ( )
After this extra search I understood that taxonomy is a way of classifying and categorizing things and that Bloom , decades ago, tried to categorize learning objectives. The illustration above shows his first classification and the updated version, which ,according to what I read, seems to be more accurate and easier to understand. I have also learned that for each category , there is a list of verbs that are commonly used and reflect the idea behind each of them.
When I started reading all texts I thought that objectives could be broken into pieces and that each piece would be a different stage of the objective. Then, I thought the objective was only achieved when the last stage was reached. However, after a lot of reflection, I realized that the stages are there to show us that the higher categories are only possible if the lower ones were mastered before. And as far as I could understand, these categories co-exhist independently. For example: if my objective in class is to make students remember a certain grammar point, then I would have to ask them to list, name,highlight,search, just to name a few actions (according to Andrew Churches` text "Bloom`s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally". But if my objective is to have students apply content taught,they need to necessarily have mastered the prerequisites which are "remembering" and "understanding", the categories that come before "applying". In pratical terms, I think it is very useful to know about this classification because you will probably achieve your objectives only if the prerequisites have been met. Moreover, according to one of the texts I read which discusses the importance of classifying objectives(, "the type of objectives attempted dictate the selection of instructional methods, media and evaluation used in the lesson."
In sum , I think that having formal academic support, like knowing about the taxonomy chart, can take a lesson plan to the next level in terms of quality and successful achievements.


  1. What an excellent post! It shows so clearly how you yourself have mastered the topic of "Bloom's Taxonomy" by going through the different stages of the Taxonomy from remembering and understanding to applying it in your writing and (I have no doubt) in your teaching. Great!

  2. This is a great post. Congratulations!
    After reading it I saw that you have understood very clearly and mastered "Bloom's Taxonomy". The way how you described the stages of Bloom's Taxonomy" helped me to understand them better.

    Thank you for sharing this post, it is very helpful!


  3. Thank you Blerta and Avraham for your positive feedback! Blerta, I want to understand better all we are learning this week, so I`ll definitely visit our colleagues'blogs and read what they had to say. I always learn more when I read a text that paraphrases other texts or criticizes or reflects upon a topic.

  4. I definitely agree with you that Bloom’s taxonomy helps us rethink our pedagogical practices and identify areas that can be improved. Like you, I learned that the verbs we choose in writing objectives determine the learning level we expect. I liked the quote you included in your post: "the type of objectives attempted dictate the selection of instructional methods, media and evaluation used in the lesson" which makes reference to the necessary link between expectations, teaching and grading all teachers, either with little or extensive experience, should aim at.

  5. Vinicius, I must congratulate you. Your reading was extensive and now you are a master of Bloom's Taxonomy.
    Your country and mine share similar problems in the field of education especially in English Language. Lots of untrained teachers, or teachers from other field of education. In the French-speaking part of Cameroon where there is need for more English language teachers,they get Biology or History teachers from the English sub system to teach English. Most of them do not attend workshops or seminars for professional development, so you can imagine the output.

    I do agree with you when you say that theoretical and academic knowledge are not the strongest asserts among Brazilian teachers because this same phenomenon is common in Cameroon.I equally agree when you say having formal academic support like knowing about the Taxonomy Chart, can take a lesson plan to the next level in terms of quality and successful achievements. We know why it is important to write learning objectives. So imagine what an untrained teacher will handle his or her class. What I have discovered in my country is that sometimes students fail not because they do not know but because the instructions,lesson plan and objectives were poorly written.

    Indeed Bloom's Taxonomy is an eye opener to all teachers.
    Posted by Margaret