I went to college to become a teacher. And somewhere during those four years, I learned about Bloom’s Taxonomy–it is stirring some memory deep within my brain, but I haven’t visited that school part of my brain for approximately four and a half years.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchy of learning that educators use to get their students to think on a higher level. For example answering a question such as “What is____?” requires less brain power than answering a question such as “How would you compare and contrast___?” or “Do you agree with_____ and why?”
Not only have I forgotten Bloom’s Taxonomy, but I never thought about applying it to my parenting. In our parenting class, we talked about a hierarchy of learning similar to Bloom’s, but only discussing four levels: Knowledge, Understanding, Internalizing, and Application. Then we applied these levels to teaching the gospel to our children.
Level 1: Knowledge.
Knowledge is teaching the story. This is the easy level and the one I usually teach. (It is also the most common one taught in Primary, YW/YM, and Relief Society.)
example: First I pick a topic and then I use the levels to teach the topic. If I want to teach obedience, I can start with the story from 1 Nephi when Lehi asks his sons to go and get the plates from Laban. I will teach the story by explaining what happened, possibly using pictures. This level is the foundation–they need to know what is going on first.
Level 2: Understanding
Check the child’s understanding of the story.
example: Once I have taught the story of getting the plates from Laban, I can check to see if they understood it. “How did Laman and Lemuel feel when their father asked them to go get the plates?” “What did Nephi say?” “How did Lehi feel about what Nephi said?” I can also use other methods to check understanding–role plays, have them repeat the story, or have them give the lesson about that story.
Level 3: Internalizing
This level is when the child can see that the story can apply to him/her.
example: “Why do you think Lehi was ‘exceedingly glad’ when Nephi said he would go and get the plates?” (because he chose to obey) “Do you think the Lord is glad when we obey?” “What are some examples of when you obey?”
Level 4: Application
This is the action part of the lesson.
example: “What can we do as a family this week to obey?” (answers could be listening to Mommy and Daddy the first time, doing what the prophet has asked, etc. We would then pick one thing to focus on.) Then I think it is important to follow up with everyone. Next Family Home Evening, we might come together and talk about times that we were obedient during the week.
My job as a parent is to create opportunities for my children to learn on each of these levels. Conversion doesn’t come until the application level. In fact, in many areas of my life, I have knowledge, but I am not truly converted. “To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be “converted,” which requires us to do and to become.” (Dallin H. Oaks “The Challenge to Become”)
(By the way, I feel overwhelmed when I think of how much creativity it takes to come up with the application activities…if you have any ideas please share!)