Using my professional reflections on questioning in the classroom I was eager to improve my practice, ask better questions and provide a better quality of questions to challenge all learners in my class. There is a plethora of research on the questions teachers ask in their lessons and a multitude of research suggests that a very small percentage of these questions encourage higher order thinking which literature indicates encourages learners to engage in critical thinking and deepen learners’ understanding. By recording myself during a lesson I saw the need to address the verbal and written questions I provided for my learners (Appendix 1). By using Bloom’s Taxonomy in the classroom, I hoped to compliment the Scottish government’s work in raising achievement and attainment (Gov.scot, 2017). Additionally, I looked at using Bloom’s Taxonomy as an Assessment is For Learning (AiFL) strategy, again complimenting the Scottish government’s drive to utilise AiFL in the class to put ‘considerable emphasis on achieving transformational change in practice in Scotland’s schools’ (Gov, scot, 2017). As AiFL states ‘thoughtful questions, careful listening and reflective responses are essential in the class for formative assessment (Gov, scot, 2017). Inclusion is at the heart of the Scottish curriculum. Differentiation is essential to deliver inclusion in a modern secondary school however, as Black-Hawkins stated ‘differentiation should not be used to sort pupils into able and less able groups’ (Black-Hawkins, et al: 2007). Differentiated questions using Bloom’s Taxonomy could allow all to participate and offer appropriate challenge to all in the class.
The aim of my inquiry was to determine if my learners’ critical thinking skills could improve using Blooms Taxonomy and if it could provide differentiated challenge for all.