Lindsey Coyle

Primary Teacher

Eastfield Primary School

  • Bloom's Taxonomy

What happens when we use Bloom’s Taxonomy to motivate learners?


The revised Bloom’s taxonomy provides a complexity hierarchy that orders cognitive processes from simple remembering to higher order critical and creative thinking. It is widely considered good practice as research has shown it can be used to differentiate, assess and scaffold learning effectively (Mayer, 2001). Research by Noble (2004) demonstrates this and found that incorporating Bloom’s Taxonomy allowed all children to achieve and feel success which it could be argued could enhance motivation.

Pupil motivation is although a complex issue with many variables to consider. Research by McLean (2003) and Zimmerman, Bandura and Martinez-Pons (1992) found that there is a link between pupil motivation and academic achievement. It is therefore, necessary for practitioners to have an understanding of strategies in which to encourage pupils’ motivation to learn, if pupils are to fulfil their academic potential as discussed in current educational policy such as “Building the Curriculum 5. A framework for Assessment: Recognising Achievement, Profiling and Reporting” (Scottish Government, 2010). Lam and Law (2007) and McLean (2003) claim that pupils will be motivated to learn when the task is challenging, meaningful to their life, stimulates their curiosity and also when the teacher grants them autonomy, recognizes their efforts/achievements and provides them with feedback to improve. Dweck (2000) suggests encouraging self-efficacy or “growth mind-set” to enhance motivation. The belief that one has the ability to become a successful learner via effort, development of skills, strategies, persistence and concentration is critical argues Dwell to the development of intrinsic motivation.


The aim of this enquiry was to establish whether higher order thinking skills would positively impact pupils’ motivation during reading lessons.

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