The innovative instructor

Ratna Rao

The teaching and learning process needs at least three domains – the teacher, the learner and the curriculum. This process can either be teacher-centred or learner-centred.

Child-centred learning is not as easy as it is made out to be. One needs to pursue methods and strategies to develop creativity and thinking skills, such as analysing, synthesising, critical, logical, problem solving, decision-making, etc., in a child.

Benjamin Bloom (an American educational psychologist) has proposed a set of skills, which are now famously known as Bloom’s taxonomy. The simple meaning of taxonomy is classification of phenomena or ideas. Bloom’s taxonomy, visually represented by a pyramid, tries to identify, define, classify and organise a comprehensive range of educational objectives into a compact and meaningful structure. The skills towards the lower and broader end of the pyramid are called Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) and the three skills at the peak of the pyramid are called the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).

It is a multilayered model of classifying thinking according to six cognitive levels of complexity. The highest three levels are: analysing, evaluating and creating. The taxonomy is based on the staircase model, meaning that to climb up to the higher levels one has to first master the lower levels. The lower levels being – remembering, understanding and applying.

The first skill in HOTS as proposed by Bloom is Analysing. Analysing means to break down a problem into smaller parts and examine each part carefully. It may also help in interpreting and looking at the given text (data) in a different way. Evaluation is to make a judgment on the basis of the data or text provided. The development of this skill may lead to judging the value of a given data for a specific purpose. The sixth and final domain is Creating. This skill is highest in the hierarchy because to create or make something new one needs to involve all the other skills.

The author is a teacher at the Calorx Teachers’ University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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