Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tools for Differentiating Based on Student Readiness

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy (old or new)
  2. Tomlinson’s Equalizer
  3. Concept-based Teaching.

1. Most teachers are familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy as it has been a staple of teacher education programs for over 40 years. Originally designed as a means for identifying the degree of abstraction of questions that are typically asked in educational settings, this hierarchical model of thinking is now widely used to assist in the design of assignments and tasks that address different levels of readiness. Whether using the original version of the Taxonomy or the newer one, it is important to keep in mind that Bloom did not intend for his model to be used as a means for labeling students. That is, we should not consider some students to generally be “knowledge-level learners” while others might be labeled “synthesis and evaluation learners.” Rather, we should keep in mind that there are times when even our most struggling thinkers are capable of thinking at higher levels. Similarly, there are certainly times when our most gifted learners must focus on basic recall of information, or lower-level thinking.