Dr McGuire had plenty of good things to say about increasing our students’ motivation, but the notion of teaching our students Bloom’s Taxonomy had the greatest impact on me. I don’t think that Dr. McGuire was literally suggesting that we take a day of class to teach Bloom’s to our students, rather that we take advantage of “teachable moments” to enlighten our students and challenge them to analyze their learning process. I found myself, in the week following the seminar, pointing out to students where they were stuck at the memorizing stage of Bloom’s, and challenging them to think about how they might develop understanding. It also just so happened to be a week where my lecture topics were about applications and I found myself similarly trying to ask questions that would push my students into analysis and evaluation.
Of course, it is quite understandable that our first-year students come to us stuck in the first (maybe second) level of Bloom’s. With the current nearly exclusive focus on standardized exams, the concept of learning has been twisted into this grotesque notion that the purpose of education is to be able to vomit facts onto a scantron. Convincing our students otherwise is one of our greatest and most important challenges, and training our students to think about their learning process is the key.