Political Science Now

Transforming Bloom’s Taxonomy into Classroom Practice

Transforming Bloom’s Taxonomy into Classroom Practice: A Practical Yet Comprehensive Approach to Promote Critical Reading and Student Participation

By Daniel M. Mulcare, Salem State University and Allan SchwedelSalem State University

This article presents the Critical Reading Topics approach, a pedagogical method employed to promote deep thinking in a variety of politics courses. Derived from principles articulated in active learning, critical thinking, backward design, and flipped classroom literature, this method utilizes Bloom’s Taxonomy as the scaffolding for students to create and evaluate pointed and relevant discussion topics written by themselves and their peers. By utilizing this method, faculty can increase students’ contemplation of the course texts, enhance students’ classroom contributions and quickly gauge the extent to which students understand the readings’ main ideas. This approach also enables students to gain authorship of the material, and it gives them additional in-class time to process the complex information they encounter. Evidence collected from six different political science courses is provided to document the approach’s effectiveness. Key findings include an improvement in the quality of relevant and focused discussion topics, a high percentage of students completing reading assignments with corresponding high quiz grades, and significant participation and recognition for all students, even those who are traditionally quiet in class.

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Journal of Political Science Education | Pages 121-137 | Volume 13, 2017 – Issue 1, Published online: 2 August 2016