High order thinking is a core of modern education. The main contribution to this theory was made by Benjamin Bloom in 1956. Bloom’s taxonomy can be explained as a classification system of different learning processes. …
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The three lowest levels of taxonomy are knowledge, understanding and application. Three highest levels are analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Analysis has to do with figuring out something on your own, i.e., an individual cannot be just repeating what he reads or hears. It is seeing how something works. An individual discerns what is connected to what. A student gets at why something is happening. During synthesis process, iIf analysis is taking things apart to see what makes them tick, synthesis is putting things together. Synthesis is solving a problem, making something whole out of a bunch of pieces nobody told you how to put together, or creating or devising something (Bloom, 1956). Evaluation is deciding on your own, and in an informed way, whether something is preferable; whether it has merit or worth; or whether it is morally right, just, or fair. Personal Meaning is reflection on the personal significance, consequence, or implication of some object of concern. It is important to help students recognize that all concepts are in some way related to one another. This is one reason concept mapping can be a very powerful evaluation tool. The main limitation of Bloom’s taxonomy is that it is not a strategy but a model which explains main thinking skills. It does not help to solve problems and develop effective critical thinking skills. Bloom explains some ideas and the concept of thinking but he does not explain how this model can be and should be applied to real world situations. His main works on taxonomy are Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Cognitive Dimension (1956).
Another model of high order thinking was developed by Robert Marzano. Marzano adopted Bloom's taxonomy but added new characteristics to the model. This model consists of 8 characteristics: focusing, information gathering, remembering, organizing, analyzing, generating, integrating, evaluating. The ideology of Marzano is based on the idea that: "When content is new, students must be guided in relating the new knowledge to what they already know, organizing and then using that new knowledge. Knowledge can be of two types: Declarative (i.e., attributes, rules) or procedural (skills and processes). Items of this type are factual and content-specific" (Marzano 1995, p. 87). The main works by Marzano are Dimensions of thinking : a framework for curriculum and instruction (1988), Cultivating thinking in English and the language arts (1991), The systematic identification and articulation of content standards and benchmarks (1995).
The most recent model based on Bloom's taxonomy is Anderson/Krathwohl mode (2000). According to this model, the following levels of thinking exist: (1) remembering: Retrieving, recalling, or recognizing, (2) understanding, (3) applying, (4) analyzing, (5) evaluating, (6) creating. The advantage of this model is that there isare student choice, exploration, or creative challenge. There is opportunity for students to collaborate, develop facility with language, and work with ideas. There is chance for students to write or say what they deeply care about. In sum, classrooms are all too teacher dominated, mechanical, and pedestrian for my blood. Whatever gains may result from mastery learning--and, remember the last section, they are significant--too often they are purchased at the expense of pointing us away from what really matters in education, that students learn how to take charge of their own learning and growth and empower themselves to live freely. The main problem describes the main stages of thinking but tells little about real life application and connections between these stages (Dettmer, 2006).
In spite of limitations and weaknesses these models become a core of modern education helping teachers to construct tests
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