Bloom’s Taxonomy or those six different categories of questions that are usually displayed in a pyramid, has been around since the 50’s. As a result it is at least as disputed as it is accepted.
One can be wary of Blooms, and other taxonomies, because they can box or compartmentalizing ideas. As the sometimes philosopher, Joni Mitchel has said:
Every bristling shaft of pride
Church or nation
Team or tribe
Every notion we subscribe to
Is just a borderline
Good or bad we think we know
As if thinking makes things so!
All convictions grow along a borderline
Joni, from Borderline
When defining or categorizing something, in this case questions, we run the risk of cementing our habits and locking our definitions in between borderlines. The irony is that these borderlines around questions may deter our questioning of questions.
The popularity of Bloom’s Taxonomy and the borderlines it has created around the space of questions means that it has played a part in defining how we understand and how we use questions. Taking a post-structuralist view, language or definitions around words and grammar, create our understanding and that understanding becomes our identity.
Recently I was asked to give a talk for the PTA and decided to run with the Blooms. The powerpoint along the side is the product of that and what got me thinking about Bloom’s recently.