Hatfield Manor CE Junior School
Teacher: J L McAllister
Timescale: Eight week period
The focus of my case study was the use of questioning in my teaching, with an emphasis on Bloom’s Taxonomy questions. This was one of the areas suggested by Shirley Clarke and when looking further into the ideology I found out that Bloom’s Taxonomy is a means of classifying forms and levels of learning. Benjamin Bloom first wrote about his ideas relating to this area in 1956. Bloom’s model suggests that there are six levels of competencies, which are:
These areas can then be applied to the NC levels: Remember – Level 1 &2; Understand – Level 3; Apply – Low Level 4; Analyse – High Level 4 and Create and Evaluate – Level 5+.
Aims and objectives
To allow for planning of questions at an appropriate and challenging level for all of the different pupils in my set, with a particular focus on moving borderline pupils in reading to the next level.
Actions / Strategies used
Having looked into Bloom’s Taxonomy I was able to find questions stems that were based on each of the levels of competency. I used these question stems to plan appropriate questions for the different level of pupils. I also started to plan guided reading sessions for each of my reading groups using the question stems.
Bloom’s Taxonomy question stems found on the internet.
Outcomes – impact on learning
- I found I was able to plan questions easily that were appropriate to the level of the pupils, but which also addressed the different reading Afs.
- The questions that I asked were of a better quality and challenged the pupils thinking.
- At first the pupils struggled to answer some of the questions and I often had to rephrase them at a lower pitch but I was always then able to move the pupils thinking on to the level I had planned for.
- The pupils became better able to answer questions and their responses were of a better quality. The most notable area of improvement was in inference and deduction.
- In general terms I feel that my overall questioning of the pupils improved and that I challenged them far more. Having initially used questions stems that were level appropriate I found I became more competent in asking better quality unplanned questions.
- The focus group – borderline level 4 pupils – made good progress and in the short time (8 weeks) we focussed on reading, using Bloom’s Taxonomy questions, as an average the group made a sub-level progress.
Plans for the future
When researching Bloom’s Taxonomy I found that it wasn’t just about asking appropriately levelled questions to extend thinking, but also included the planning of activities that are more appropriate to the level of the pupils. Many of the strategies/activities suggested I already use in my teaching but having them matched to Bloom’s Taxonomy will allow me to ensure that I plan activities that are of appropriate pitch and challenge.
Evaluation and recommendations
Since using Bloom’s Taxonomy questions I know that my questioning skills have improved. I would recommend unreservedly the use of Bloom’s Taxonomy questions for the planning of guided reading. The quality of my questions relating to the texts improved greatly and whereas I used to find it difficult to plan higher order questions I now find it easier to do.