Guiding your child's development in a fragmented learning environment

Mother struggling to balance time and teaching kids.
How do I help my children?

You may not be familiar with the term “Bloom’s Taxonomy”; however, I am confident you will be glad you took the time to learn about it. The taxonomy provides a structured approach to aiding in the development and measurement of your child’s learning, including the elevation of their critical thinking skills. Today’s learning environment can feel fragmented, convoluted and disjointed. The onset of COVID-19 has made the learning landscape even more complicated. You may be finding it difficult to gauge your child’s current stage of development; therefore impeding your ability to effectively support your child. You need a clear signal in the midst of the noise. This blog post can act as a guide in using the taxonomy to help understand and steer your child’s learning path.

Bloom's Taxonomy is not new. It was first developed in 1956 by Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwoh (Vanderbilt University). However, it has been modernized and is still seen by experts as being effective in guiding how students encounter and work with knowledge. It has become even more relevant as we transition into the new economy. As we transition from the Knowledge economy to the Innovation economy, sound critical thinking is becoming a base skill for most positions (The driving forces that will share the Innovation Economy). The taxonomy can be used by educators and parents to ensure the skills necessary to meet the cognitive demands of the 21st-century are being developed and measured.

Fully developed critical thinking skills is about implementing knowledge to solve problems or to create. This is not something learned overnight. It needs to be taught, developed and measured successively and iteratively, almost like building blocks. When introduced to a new subject area, your child can’t create until they have a base knowledge; nor can they solve a problem until they can perform an analysis. The ultimate goal of one’s development is the ability to turn knowledge into something tangible.

At Kids Hack Labs, we use the Bloom’s Taxonomy to inform our curriculum building and to aid in measuring our students' progress. We also use “scaffolding” to support students during the early stages of learning a new concept. We remove the scaffolding or support as the student moves through the taxonomy. You can use this same taxonomy to measure your child's progress in almost all areas of learning (ie. math, writing, science, etc). As you read about the taxonomy categories, it's important to understand that your child's progression will not necessarily be linear.

The categories of the taxonomy include:

Image sourced from Vanderbilt University.

Alignment of Kids Hack Labs programs.

* Engaging question and example exercises sourced from:

Remember - memorize and recall

Students are expected to recall information such as dates, facts and events. It covers the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, which).

Engaging your child:

  • What do you remember about _____?

  • How would you define_____?

  • How would you identify _____?