Bloom’s Taxonomy and Collective Understanding

Bloom’s taxonomy is an heuristic designed to help educators develop teaching methods that will move student’s learning beyond rote memorisation. Learning beyond memorising is sometimes considered higher order or deeper learning.  Since the taxonomy was developed in the mid 1950’s it has informed education policy across the globe and has inspired countless innovations in teaching and learning including Research-led Teaching and Learning, Service Learning, and more recently Knowledge Building approaches.  It has also been used to help educators develop learning outcomes for Objective Based Teaching and Learning (OBTL) that are then assessed via Criterion Referenced Assessment (CRA). In this post I discuss how I sought to achieve higher order learning through a student web page project in Hong Kong and what that process revealed to me about Bloom’s taxonomy. Continue reading

“Mean Professor” and the context of rudeness

Mean Professor Tells Student to “get your sh*t together”

This story appeared a couple of years ago and soon after NPR did a musical version ( The blogger received hundreds of comments and likes. More recently it appeared on my facebook page, posted by another academic. The story, and the sentiment, still have currency. Indeed, the rudeness of students is often something discussed by university teachers (and I suspect other teachers as well). We talk strategy for getting students to be on time (and be quiet and turn off their cell phones). We lament a situation where we do not feel as empowered to say what we feel as this particular professor did. We wish we could be Professor Snape or Lord Sugar and cut the-one-who-must-be-silenced down to size. Continue reading