1. Using taxonomies to support
Learning ‘taxonomies’, or ‘methods of
classification’, can support both students and teachers in the
classroom. Two are often cited in schools: Bloom’s taxonomy and
Anderson and Krathwohl’s revised taxonomy.
Both attempt to classify different objectives
that teachers set for students (learning objectives) and to place
them in some form of hierarchy. Although much research continues
into these hierarchies and the relationships between the levels
described within them, the idea that students must be set
challenging objectives that stretch their thought processes and
abilities is sound. Setting more able learners objectives from the
higher level of such taxonomies supports their progress.
In Bloom’s taxonomy there are six levels in
the taxonomy, moving through the lowest order processes to the
Making qualitative and quantitative
Appraise, grade, interpret,
recommend, argue, hypothesise, enquire, monitor, research
Arranging elements into a new whole
Construct, formulate, generalise,
generate, compile, modify…
Making clear hierarchies and
Differentiate, separate, subdivide,
demonstrate, categorise, specify, analyse, refine, plan…
Applying new information to new areas
Apply, predict, solve, change, demonstrate, illustrate,
persuade, conclude …
Making use of information
Compare, contrast, estimate, explain,
suggest, classify, convert, perform, paraphrase …
Encountering and recalling
describe, label, list, tell, show, place, state, name,
This model is given here as it is still in
common usage. Anderson and Krathwohl made minor, but significant
changes. In the light of the New Secondary Curriculum and
development of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills within
schools, the priority given to ‘creating’ dovetails well, and is a
welcome contribution to debate.
These models are useful in many 14-19
classrooms when assessment for learning strategies are being used.
However, linguists have struggled with marrying the use of the
target language and the setting of such complex learning objectives
(generalise, appraise, monitor, for example). Such objectives can
be met when discussing skills development. In as far as production
of language is concerned the following may be more appropriate for
3 Assimilating language
Once language can be applied successfully it
can then be synthesised, altered, evaluated and used successfully
for different purposes in different contexts (see also Bloom’s
‘Higher level learning’ (levels 5 and 6)).
Summarise, recount, reconstruct,
improvise, paraphrase, transfer, infer, justify, link,
2 Processing language
Having gathered simple language and structures
activities can then be completed where language is understood,
analysed and applied in a difference context (see also Bloom’s
‘Middle level learning’ (levels 3 and 4)).
Sequence, reorder, predict, imagine,
apply, report, describe, construct, design, interpret, subdivide,
1 Gathering language
These are techniques used to learn and produce
simple language and successful completion of these activities shows
knowledge and understanding (see also Bloom’s ‘Lower level
learning’ (levels 1 and 2)).
Learn, list, label, name, gather, check
meaning, copy, find, recite, ask, answer, choose
Which ever model is used, moving learning
objectives from lower level tasks to the higher levels as quickly
as possible supports more able learners.
2. Classroom Quality
These focus on the craft of teaching and
are designed to be a self-evaluation tool in order to plan
improvements. They are part of a suite of three tools, one looking
at developing teaching within an institution and one developing
teaching within a Local Authority. Placing classroom practice at
the centre rather than considering enrichment only, is the axis
upon which current developments are based.
Seven areas are considered and are considered
to constitute the requirements for good learning on the part of
gifted and talented learners. However, these obviously dovetail
with the needs of all learners. For each theme initial key
questions are posed.
Conditions for Learning
How well do learning conditions ensure that
learners are healthy and safe and enjoy their learning?
How well is learning linked to the working
world beyond the classroom allowing learners to make informed
connections and decisions for learning.
How well are learners enabled and challenged
to demonstrate, use and develop their gifts and talents to make a
Development of Learning
How well is an understanding of how learning
develops applied and used to support pupils’ learning?
How well are learners enabled to take charge
of their learning and become self-regulating?
Knowledge of Subjects and Themes
How well are knowledge and skills of subjects
and themes used to stimulate and challenge learners?
How well is learning developed through
specific subject knowledge and skills?
How well is the curriculum adapted to address
the needs of different learners?
Understanding Learners’ Needs
How well are the emotional and social needs of
the learner identified and addressed to raise achievement?
How well are barriers to learning identified
How well is learners’ progress assessed,
monitored and evaluated in order to raise achievement?
How well are the training and learning needs
of teachers and classroom assistants identified in order that they
meet the needs of learners?
How well does planning build on learners’
prior knowledge and attainment?
How well is planning used to improve outcomes
for all learners?
How well is a range of different teaching and
learning styles and strategies used in planning activities to
ensure extension, enrichment and progression?
Engagement with Learners and Learning
How well are teaching and learning skills and
resources deployed to extend, inspire and challenge learners?
How are available organisational structures
and settings within the school used to identify potential and raise
Links beyond the classroom
How well are learning, and opportunities for
learning, beyond the classroom encouraged, known about, built upon
How well are parents and carers included in
supporting and developing their children’s learning?
As for other groups of learners, close attention should be paid to
planning, teaching and assessment in order that all learners make
the progress expected of them.