Bloom’s Taxonomy: The rubbish running education


Back when I was focusing more on how much education has been degraded (and less on the takeover by edu-fascists), I wrote of Bloom’s Taxonomy, this weird dogma which Educationists rant about extensively. It’s been over five years since I wrote about it, but a recent book extolling the virtues of this taxonomy was recently pushed at me, and so I thought it worth a re-visit.

Before continuing, I feel the need to point out that Educationists have been following these sorts of theories for many decades now, and yet education in every conceivable way is worse than it was before they started. Comparing the advances in computers, in medicine, in aeronautics, in basically every human endeavor to the utter and consistent failures of Education as a field should lead one to abandon everything in this field…or at least maybe consider changing some aspect of some of the theories, but instead Educationists endlessly double down, like other failed believers.

Considering how these guys get paid five times as much of me to advance obviously failed theories, perhaps I should reconsider sticking to provable truths, but I digress.

In this extract from our exclusive e-book, The Professors’ Guide to Bloom’s Taxonomy, award-winning higher education journalist Philip Preville looks at the history and origin of the well-used teaching framework and ponders its future place in classrooms that are increasingly dominated by technology.

Much like in science fiction, getting awards in education doesn’t mean squat, at least usually. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a well-used “teaching framework,” but I again point out that this stuff is crammed down faculty’s throats ad infinitum. Seriously, why isn’t Education’s track record of abject failure not a factor here?

In 1956, the inaugural Taxonomy of Educational Objectives was published, complete with a triangular diagram showing how educational attainment rises through six different orders of learning, from basic information recall through application to analysis and evaluation.

For 60 years we’ve been following this “triangular diagram” which is obviously every bit as valid as the government’s “food pyramid” (a dietary guideline guaranteed both theoretically and empirically to increase obesity and diabetes, among other health issues). It’s weird how I can find plenty of critiques of that failed food pyramid, but little criticism of Bloom’s Taxonomy, even though the latter has done as much to destroy human minds as the former human bodies.

For 60 years Educationists have been using this thing, and we’ve had only failure. There is as yet not one scrap of physical evidence that any aspect of that taxonomy is useful in any way. A person who is a devout believer in Bigfoot is far more reasonable than any Bloom’s-loving Educationist for one simple reason: there’s infinitely more evidence for the existence of Bigfoot than Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Again, why isn’t the 60 year track record of failure, the complete lack of evidence of anything to it, a factor here?

…is arguably the single most influential work in American education,…

I include the above quote to emphasize I’m not exaggerating how much they push that crap.

Bloom’s taxonomy is foundational knowledge for every undergraduate program in education and in cognitive psychology. Though it was initially intended simply as an assessment aid, it has become an emblem for curriculum design, used to set learning objectives and design classroom activities.

Please note I’m not putting aspersions on Bloom here, as he simply provided a very crude, unreliable, and untestable guideline for knowledge that has been demented into something far past its intention, much less usefulness.

…Bloom’s taxonomy has been revised only once—proof of the concept’s durability and timelessness.

Proof? What? The slavish devotion these guys have to Bloom’s is scary. Encyclopedias get revised every year…are they not durable or timeless? On the other hand, my “What I did last summer” essay from primary school has never been revised, not even once….so I guess it’s even more durable and timeless? Are there really no rational thinkers in Education able to question this sort of lavish praise?

K-12 teachers were all steeped in Bloom’s taxonomy as part of their education degrees. College faculty, who typically don’t study teaching before becoming teachers, often begin their instructional careers—and even continue for years—without Bloom’s help.

The fecklessness here is breathtaking. It’s abundantly clear our K-12 system has been failing horribly for nearly a century, while our higher education system managed to remain pretty good up until the last 20ish years. From this, one should conjecture Bloom’s is not remotely necessary for good education, and could also wonder if it actually makes education worse.

Of course, higher education is failing as well. Could Bloom’s be a factor here?

Increasingly, they can’t do without it [Bloom’s]. More and more state accreditors and university administrations are demanding that faculty clearly state the learning objectives for each of their courses. Professors must then make good on those objectives: planning…and assessing their progress both on the fly and at semester’s end…

So, instead of relying on known successful techniques, faculty are increasingly being forced to go with known failing techniques. It obviously isn’t working, but the book offers a reason:

And today’s distracted students are disoriented in the classroom, unclear on how to learn in a college setting.

How does this chucklehead award-winning journalist not connect the dots here? The lost students are coming from a system steeped in Bloom’s garbage…how can he not see that Bloom’s isn’t working in the public schools, and how can he double down on the obvious failure by supporting putting more of it in higher ed?

Why aren’t these questions obvious to ask?

The gentle reader can read the free book if he pleases but my point here is this is what faculty have to deal with: endless propaganda from a cult caste that is fundamentally incapable of asking even simple questions, much less changing course in the face of reckless failure.