October 13, 2020
Series: Better Childbirth Education By Design - Bloom’s Taxonomy and Course Development
By: Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE | 0 Comments
Today, please enjoy the fourth post in the series: Better Childbirth Education By Design, a special Connecting the Dots series written by skilled educator LCCE Andrea Lythgoe. Andrea has been a frequent contributor to Connecting the Dots over the years with some very popular and informative posts. Instruction design is a field that applies systematic approaches to planning education. Lots has been written about its use in a wide variety of fields, from K-12 education to higher education, corporate training and even the US military. In this series - Better Childbirth Education by Design, Andrea introduces readers to a very common model of instructional design, called ADDIE, and demonstrate how childbirth educators can use this process to create and refine your childbirth classes. Today, Andrea discusses Bloom's taxonomy as you create and work on your course development and curriculum. To find the entire Better Childbirth Education By Design series, follow this link. - Sharon Muza, Connecting the Dots Community Manager.
Bloom's Taxonomy is a classic in education. It describes the cognitive processes that people go through as they learn. (It doesn’t address attitudes or skills, it’s focused on knowledge.) The original Bloom’s Taxonomy was created in the mid 1950s and revised in 2001. For this article, I am focusing on the newer 2001 version.
Starting at the base and working up to the more higher-level cognitive processes, here’s how they might work within the context of a childbirth class:
Remember – This level is simply recognizing and recalling things they have heard before. So, if they are in labor, and they hear the staff talk about the baby’s station, they remember what that means, they’ve remembered what they need.
Understand – At this level, learners can do something with the information. Your students will be able to interpret what it means to be completely dilated.
Apply - Students can take the information they’re learning and know the best application. A student using counterpressure they learned for low back pain in labor would show they can apply what they learn.
Analyze – A student can look at multiple pieces of information and analyze them to come up with a structure to connect or organize them. They might be able to put the stages and phases of labor in order or explain why upright positions might be more helpful in labor.
Evaluate – At this level, students will be able to use critical thinking to evaluate things, like which of the tools you’re teaching for labor might work for them, or if their care provider is a good match. The BRAIN framework is a common way of facilitating a student’s ability to evaluate.
Create – In this highest level, students will use what they are learning to create something new. Most commonly in childbirth classes, this would be a birth plan. The students are using all the other kinds of cognitive processing as they create a plan for their birth.
While all of these talk about what learners can do with the information, the new Bloom’s also includes four kinds of knowledge, and it can be helpful to think about these in terms of the kinds of information you present and how you present them:
Factual Knowledge - These are simple facts, like identifying the cervix on a diagram, or defining effacement.
Conceptual Knowledge - The understanding the understanding theories, like the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle, and how they can impact birth.
Procedural Knowledge - Involves things like how to preregister for the hospital or how to do a foot massage. It can also involve knowing *when* something is appropriate, like knowing when to move from their home to their chosen birthplace.
Metacognitive Knowledge - This is complex knowledge, like recognizing signs of a posterior position and knowing which techniques to apply in order to encourage the baby to turn.
Now here is the place where this really takes shape. You can take the Cognitive Processes and put them in a grid with the kinds of knowledge.
As you are writing your enabling objectives, think about the kind of knowledge you want to convey, and what kind of thought you want to ask of your students. Remember that not everything needs to be the highest level, and you do not want to overload your students. Choose the topics you think are most vital to achieving your overall objectives and expect more from your learners on those.
For example, you want your students to understand the role of gravity in helping a posterior baby turn. This is a concept you want them to be able to apply when they are in labor. Looking at the table, the intersection of conceptual knowledge with the cognitive process of application suggests the verb “experiment” might be a good one that you could use to write an objective and plan an activity.
Bloom’s Taxonomy is a huge topic, and I’ve only just brushed the surface here, but it can be a very useful way of thinking about what you want to accomplish in your classes.
These resources can help you learn more:
About Andrea Lythgoe
Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE is a childbirth educator and doula with over 20 years of experience helping families as they move through pregnancy and birth. She is also the author of UnderstandingResearch.com, the place for birth professionals to learn how to find and read research. Recently, she has gone back to school to study instructional design and strengthen her skills. You can find Andrea at andrealythgoe.com
TagsChildbirth education Andrea Lythgoe Series: Better Childbirth Education by Design Bloom's Taxonomy