A Taxonomy of Reflection: Critical Thinking For Students, Teachers, and Principals (Part I)
My approach to staff development (and teaching) borrows from the thinking of Donald Finkel who believed that teaching should be thought of as "providing experience, provoking reflection." He goes on to write,
... to reflectively experience is to make connections within the details of the work of the problem, to see it through the lens of abstraction or theory, to generate one's own questions about it, to take more active and conscious control over understanding. ~ From Teaching With Your Mouth Shut
Over the last few years I've led many teachers and administrators on classroom walkthroughs designed to foster a collegial conversation about teaching and learning. The walkthroughs served as roving Socratic seminars and a catalyst for reflection. But reflection can be a challenging endeavor. It's not something that's fostered in school - typically someone else tells you how you're doing! At best, students can narrate what they did, but have trouble thinking abstractly about their learning - patterns, connections and progress. Likewise teachers and principals need encouragement and opportunities to think more reflectively about their craft.
In an effort to help schools become more reflective learning environments, I've developed this "Taxonomy of Reflection." - modeled on Bloom's approach. It's posted in four installments:
See my Prezi tour of the Taxonomy
It's very much a work in progress, and I invite your comments and suggestions. I'm especially interested in whether you think the parallel construction to Bloom holds up through each of the three examples - student, teacher, and principal. I think we have something to learn from each perspective.
A Taxonomy of Lower to Higher Order Reflection
Assume an individual has just completed a task. What types of questions might they use to reflect on the experience? How might those questions parallel Bloom's Taxonomy?
Bloom's Remembering: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from short- or long-term memory.
Reflection: What did I do?
Bloom's Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, or graphic messages.
Reflection: What was important about what I did? Did I meet my goals?
Bloom's Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure through executing, or implementing. Extending the procedure to a new setting.
Reflection: When did I do this before? Where could I use this again?
Bloom's Analyzing: Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose.
Reflection: Do I see any patterns or relationships in what I did?
Bloom's Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards.
Reflection: How well did I do? What worked? What do I need to improve?
Bloom's Creating: Combining or reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure.
Reflection: What should I do next? What's my plan / design?
Note: A thanks to dear friend and colleague Patricia Martin, for sharing her thoughts on this idea.