Much of today’s standardized testing rigorously tests the basement, further anchoring the focus of learning at the bottom steps, which is not beneficial for our students. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.
The pyramid creates the impression that there is a scarcity of creativity — only those who can traverse the bottom levels and reach the summit can be creative. And while this may be how it plays out in many schools, it’s not due to any shortage of creative potential on the part of our students.
I think the narrowing pyramid also posits that our students need a lot more focus on factual knowledge than creativity, or analyzing, or evaluating and applying what they’ve learned. And in a Google-world, it’s just not true.
Here’s what I propose: we flip Bloom’s taxonomy. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.
Traditionally, students learn many of the foundational principles for creating a layout through a lecture or text book reading, and then eventually create their own.
My students start with the standard elements of an advertisement and create a mockup.
Now students can apply what they’ve learned as they return to their own mock-up and fix elements based on the design principles they’ve begun to absorb. Finally, students research the four design principles to flesh out their understanding where needed, and possibly correct any misconceptions.
From this research, students create their own graphic organizer of the four design principles for future reference and to help them remember.
They’ve been engaged with the entire process from start to finish, and my students have make some significant decisions about the essential knowledge they need. But Will it Work for Science?