Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

How English Teachers Invert Bloom’s Taxonomy

October 26, 2009 1 min read

To the Editor:

Thank you for Sam Wineburg and Jack Schneider’s excellent Commentary piece, “Inverting Bloom’s Taxonomy” (Oct. 7, 2009).

While I agree with most of what the authors say, I would ask each of them to confer with a colleague who teaches writing and look at a current essay-grading rubric. Writing teachers, at least in my five-year career, stress awareness of the audience as a key consideration before penning an essay of any genre. Considering the source of any artifact of writing, including the time, place, and cultural milieu, is essential to literary analysis.

Engaging “prior” knowledge should be at the base of the pyramid, connecting to and informing the why, what, and who questioning so vital to the steps of evaluation, synthesis, and analysis. The acquisition of “new” knowledge would appear at the summit. On all the points or layers in between, Messrs. Wineburg and Schneider and I are in agreement.

Perhaps high school English teachers have been inverting Bloom’s taxonomy all along.

Christy Anne Vaughan

Kemmerer, Wyo.

A version of this article appeared in the October 28, 2009 edition of Education Week as How English Teachers Invert Bloom’s Taxonomy