Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies


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Introduction & Course Overview

As teachers we must ask ourselves are we doing everything in our power to challenge, engage and inspire learning in our classroom on a day to day basis. In order to assure that we are perusing a path of higher learning standards for both our teaching and our students academic experience, Blooms Taxonomy was developed to provide educators with a common learning and assessment language.

"The goal of an educator using Blooms taxonomy is to encourage higher-order thought in their students by building up from lower-level cognitive skills. Behavioral and cognitive learning outcomes are given to highlight how Bloom’s taxonomy can be incorporated into larger-scale educational goals or guidelines. The key phrases can be used (e.g., Example Assessments) to prompt for these skills during the assessment process." (Dorner, Bloom's Taxonomy)

Not only is the understanding of Blooms Taxonomy vital in the educational community, but the ability to apply this knowledge is of the upmost importance. This course sets out to not only teach the components of Bloom's Taxonomy to the participates, but also challenges those involved to take an active role in their learning and apply their knowledge as a culminating activity. This course focuses on developing these skills for social studies teachers and will ask participants to use social studies based examples to create a rich and full learning experience. Participants will be lead through four unique units, in which they will develop skills throughout the initial three units, and then apply those in a culminating unit creation assignment which simulates real world teaching exceptions.

Needs Assessment

The social studies community has begun to trend away from the traditional fact-recall questions which focused on who, what, when and where. These types of questions have now been replaced with analytical based questions in which students are asked why, to predict and explain cause and effect. This trend has made the understanding and application of Bloom's Taxonomy more critical than ever before in all social studies classroom. Though states and curriculum have begun to undergo these dramatic changes all students are not caught up and as a result many get left behind if these higher level thinking skills are not properly honed.

"There are a number of reasons why a teacher would want to use Bloom’s taxonomy. Initially, it can be used to increase one’s understanding of the educational process. Teachers can see and understand complex cognitive development and how lower-level skills build into higher-order thinking (e.g., recalling facts and comprehending previous problems allows a student to apply their experience to similar problems). Using this understanding facilitates the prioritizing of material and can steer the organization of lessons to maximize class time." (Dorner, Bloom's Taxonomy)

By assuring that our perspective social studies teachers both see and understand this learning gap is critical to ensuring both its closure and the improvement of social studies teaching in the classroom.

Performance Objectives

This course sets out to teach students the importance of Blooms Taxonomy and ways in which they can integrate Blooms objectives into a social studies classroom. After completing this mini-course students will have developed a number of new skills that they will carry with them into a classroom in the future. Upon completion students will be able to:

  • Define and explain each rung of Blooms Taxonomy
  • Interpret & analyze the different levels using examples from social studies working toward the integration in a social studies classroom
  • Create lessons and activities centered around effective Blooms practices based in the social studies curriculum
  • Design assessment tasks that can evaluate student learning at each level of Blooms Taxonomy


Unit One Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies

  • Learners will examine Blooms Taxonomy and the educational research behind its development.
  • Learners will work with and develop practices for the bottom two rungs of Blooms.

Unit Two Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies

  • Learners will look to analyze best practices on both formal and informal assessment tools. Focus will be on having their perspective students apply their social studies knowledge and skills.

Unit Three Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies

  • Learners will create assessment tools, focused on the highest rungs of Blooms

Unit Four Blooms Taxonomy in Social Studies

  • Learners will create a mock unit that could be used in their future classroom. This unit will use tools and assessment strategies from each unit of this mini-course