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Taxonomy simply refers to some sort of arrangement. The taxonomy of educational objectives is therefore, a structure for providing direction to the learning and teaching process.
Why did we Begin to use Objectives to Guide Instruction?
A study done by Pickard (2007) indicates that one of the major challenges faced by educators is to determine the best approach to carry out the business of educating. The publication of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in 1956 appeared to offer a great solution to the teacher’s problem.
Named after Benjamin Bloom, this taxonomy is a very popular tool and is widely referenced amongst the educators. Despite the fact that it is was named after Benjamin Bloom, many other individuals took part in its development.
Over the years, the taxonomy has undergone numerous changes which have led to the current version, Anderson and Krathwohl’s Taxonomy, which is a redefined work of a former student of Bloom.
This paper discusses the development of learning objects and goes on to highlight some key aspects of the revised version of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Pickard, 2007).
History of the Learning Objectives
According to Pickard (2007), the development of learning objectives can be traced back to the entrance of experienced soldiers, who had just returned home from World War II, into the American educational system. With the education stipend given to them, the World War II veterans could attend school (Pickard, 2007).
Besides hiring new faculty members to help manage the situation, the need for an effective teaching system could not be overlooked. A team of psychology graduates was hired to come up with a way to make learning and teaching successful.
The team held meetings and discussions with a common goal of simplifying the entire teaching process. Along the way, they came to a realization that they would have to categorize knowledge into hierarchies that would give a structure to test students in various disciplines.
The outcome of their joint efforts was Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Pickard, 2007).
The original taxonomy, however, totally ignored the skills part of learning as the development team saw no need to include them for college students (Pickard, 2007). This later became a requirement and Dr. Lorin Anderson, one of Bloom’s former students, was given the onus to update the existing Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Working in collaboration with David Krathwohl and others, Anderson came up with the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (RBT) which as indicated elsewhere in this paper, is also known as the Anderson and Krathwohl Taxonomy.
RBT is highly regarded amongst educators and is considered a vital tool that should be used to achieve the intended objectives in an education system. It can assist educators to ensure that the system benefits the learners as is expected.
The RBT includes major changes that have taken place in teaching and learning since the development of the original Bloom’s Taxonomy. Despite a few differences that exist in structure and terminologies, the general concept of objectives remains the same in both. Although RBT has been around since 2007, its usage is yet to gain fame (Pickard, 2007).
Relevance of Bloom’s Taxonomy in Today’s Learning Environment
The importance of Bloom’s Taxonomy in any education system cannot be underestimated. Today, students and educators still encounter the same problems that were characterized earlier systems of learning.
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The use of RBT will definitely help to simply and make interesting, the learning and teaching process. As a tool, RBT is critical in identifying key considerations in any education system. Proper use of RBT will therefore make learning quite exciting.
Pickard, M. J. (2007). The New Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview for Family and Consumer Sciences. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Vol. 25, No. 1, 45 – 53.