One of the many questions facing educators today, as it has always been, is “where do we
begin in seeking to improve human thinking?” (Houghton, 2004). It is suggested that teachers
spend up to half of class time questioning, asking 300 to 400 questions a day, while each
student asks, on average, one question per week (Graesser and Person, 1994). Despite the
positive effect questioning can have on developing children’s critical thinking, most
practitioners depend on low-level questions, seldom employing questions that embolden
critical thinking for pupils to engage in a profounder level of understanding (Arslan, 2006;
McComas and Abraham, 2004).
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a pedagogical approach that puts emphasis on a higher order of critical
thinking and questioning in a hierarchical model, covering a range of skills from basic recall
and analysing concepts to creating and evaluating work. It has elevated educational concepts
such as high and low order thinking and also has been directly related with problem solving
skills, critical and creative thinking, and multiple intelligences (Noble, 2004). The deeper
levels of critical thinking that is enabled through Bloom’s Taxonomy is a core aspect of
Curriculum for Excellence (The Scottish Government, 2011). I decided to implement this into
my lessons to try and promote progressively deeper levels of thinking and understanding in
my pupils whilst enabling differentiation improvement and learner awareness of progression
in my lessons.
The aim of this enquiry was to gauge what extent pupil understanding and their ability to
think critically were developed through embedding Bloom’s Taxonomy into lessons and how
this could increase awareness of the learner journey and the progression of learning.