Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bloom's Taxonomy: Affective Theory

Surprisingly, the educational community gives little emphasis on the two other areas of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Even with the recent scientific knowledge about the amygdale, emotional intelligence and intuitive knowledge, Bloom’s Affective theory is almost entirely neglected. Similarly, his research on the psychomotor realm of learning remains largely ignored by the academic community.
Perhaps this is because other theorists have built upon Bloom’s work. (Which, in all honesty, was led by an entire team of researchers.) Bloom’s protégé R.H. Dave has gained notoriety for his contribution to psychomotor behavioral objectives.

Affective Domain

Receiving– A student will be able to receive a stimulus. On an emotional scale, this means that a student must be wiling to learn and to pay attention. On a more observable scale, this means that a student should be paying attention, listening and on-task. At this stage, a student is attentive, but not necessarily actively engaged. Example: A student sits passively in a classroom

Responding – At this point, a student will be actively engaged, but not necessarily internalizing any information. The student is not only willing to engage (receiving) but is actually engaging in the information. Here the student feels enough involved in the classroom community that he or she feels safe sharing information. Example: A student raises his hand in a class discussion

Valuing – The student believes that the subject and the people are important. Rather than merely being a participant, the student desires to be there and feels a sense of importance and meaning in what is being accomplished. A student at this stage does not feel outside pressure to comply, but an internal compulsion to participate and contribute. Example: A student wants to be in class and volunteers to lead a group.

Organizing – Here is when a student attempts to fit the idea, class or activity into a greater philosophical framework. There is a notion of compromise and harmony involved. It is not unlike Bloom’s notion of synthesis. This is also where a student clarifies values into priorities. Example: A student sees connection between life and the class. The student leads a petition because of skills learned in a government class.

Internalizing – The learning, ideas or community has become a part of the student. This is also where a student has the greatest sense of self-control and a strongest sense of a personal philosophy that guides him or her. Example: The learning is now a part of the student’s core values. A student creates a life philosophy based on what he or she knows.

This has been presented as a hierarchy, but the reality is that it is more like a continuum. Students fall back and forth between the two rather than climb to the top. For example, a new situation might cause a student to fall back to receiving. A student might be in valuing until trust has been broken and it goes back to responding or receiving.

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