Lots of discussion about types of questioning tonight. Particular attention was paid to Blooms Taxonomy – an excellent ordering and classification system for types of thinking, and in turn questions that facilitate various types of thinking.
Most teachers should know that Blooms system classifies these types of thinking into levels of depth and complexity from basic knowledge then comprehension, to application, analysis, synthesis and then finally evaluation.
In primary science we tend to focus on the first two or three types of rudimentary thinking. We give out, or facilitate the uptake of,lots of knowledge about the world, ensuring the children understand it and hopefully that they can apply that knowledge and understanding to various phenomena they observe.
This is all very good, but we must not forget the remaining three levels of thinking in science because these will teach our children to go that much deeper, transferring their understanding across science topics and learning to be creative with their knowledge. Training our little scientists to push further into analysing scientific knowledge and understanding will mean they will begin to join up the dots and extend their ideas. After all, being creative with scientific understanding is a prerequisite for new discoveries and future advances!
So next time you think, ‘they’ve got it!’ why not stretch it further? For example, they’ve understood that magnets attract certain types of metal so push them to analyse this. ‘What could be a problem when using magnets? Open out a discussion. Then perhaps, ‘can you design a new invention using a magnet?’ ‘Compare your invention with your partner. Which is the most useful? Which is the most practical and realistic?
Taking their science knowledge forward like this will deepen their understanding of the simple concepts we want them to understand at primary level and habituate them into using their science knowledge in this deeper way in the future also.
This link below is very good for pulling out ideas for questions relating to Blooms type of thinking skills: