Is That Higher-Order Task Really Higher-Order?

Fox, Marie


Gonzalez, J. (2019, May 12) Cult of Pedagogy. Is that Higher-Order Task Really Higher Order? Retrieved from

Summary: Podcast episode which discussing the goal of reaching higher levels of learning using Bloom’s taxonomy (evaluate, analyze, create). Goes through a specific lesson about the Bill of Rights with a “higher-order task” which is not in fact higher-order and then an alternate lesson plan that DOES reach those levels. Offers advice about how to choose activities that will get students working with materials in ways that will serve them later in life – not just making to make something that is actually repeating the information previously taught, put into a pretty package. Also discourages using technology that takes a long time for them to learn, making the lesson take longer than is worth considering how much they are(n’t) getting out of it.

Evaluation: Offered clear background information about one type of assessment of student learning (Bloom’s taxonomy), which was very useful to someone like myself who is new to education assessments. Appreciated the concrete examples of common types of classroom assignments and ways to think critically about them, encouraging a teacher to ask themselves, does this project actually reach those higher levels of learning?

2 thoughts on “Is That Higher-Order Task Really Higher-Order?

  1. tcothran says:

    Marie, I just finished listening to this episode as well. I thought it was really well done and useful to hear the side by side lesson comparisons. I think it’s really interesting that much of the confusion as to what is higher order thinking can be attributed to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of what it means “to create” in this instance. I hadn’t thought about it before, but it makes a lot of sense. I love her distinction about creation being part of the mental work, not just something physically created. I also love how succinctly she put it when she said that whenever you are lost and are finding yourself wrapped up in the language, go back to “WHY do you want students to learn this information and what do you want them to be able to DO with it in the real world.” That really connects it back to inquiry based learning objectives for me.


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