What If….

In the spirit of the old Marvel comics, What If… series, I bring you:

What if Bloom’s Taxonomy is right?

Well, first a brief primer in Bloom’s. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a tiered structure, like a staircase, that illustrates increasingly complex or difficult cognitive tasks, particularly in an educational setting. At the bottom is Knowledge (knowing the facts) and scaling up to Evaluation (the ability to weigh several arguments, select the best option and defend that selection). In between there are steps that build on the previous one. There are criticisms of Bloom’s, including many arguments about how learning is not sequential and the semantic framing of Bloom’s steps.

What if Bloom had it wrong for learning but right for evolution? On pages 6-18 of the new Pew Report on the Future of the Internet (PDF), people responded to whether or not Google is making us smarter. I think if you apply this transformation to Bloom’s, you see that we’re skipping from Knowledge and Comprehension on Bloom’s scale to something higher, likely Application. The danger, of course, is if we ignore the the critical consumption part of the equation. We no longer have to evaluate the information we receive, but the source of the information. If the source is trustworthy, then it is likely that the information is trustworthy. If we are unable to make this evaluation in a split second, then we are destined for Idiocracy.

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