Throughout the PYP students are developing and using transdisciplinary skills: social skills, communication skills, thinking skills, research skills and self-management skills. At the BETT Show at the weekend, I met up with Kirsten from the IB Office in Cardiff and one of the things we got to talking about was how up-to-date these skills are and whether or not they need to be revised. Kirsten suggested that communication skills could be replaced with collaboration skills. I have been wondering about the thinking skills and how these could also be revamped in the light of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. These new levels represent a transition from lower order thinking skills (remembering, understanding and applying) to higher order thinking skills (analyzing, evaluating and creating) - perhaps these are now more relevant as the thinking skills of the PYP?
The lowest of the thinking skills is remembering: this is made up of students being able to list, identify, describe, recall, name, match, label, locate, recognise and select. Understanding builds on these skills and involves recalling knowledge and demonstrating comprehension. Here students will need to be able to interpret, summarise, paraphrase, classify, compare, explain and categorise. Students will use the thinking skills of understanding and remembering in order to apply their knowledge, for example to solve problems, to graph results, to predict, or to modify or change something.
Moving on to the higher order thinking skills, analysing is seen as a transition. It involves students using the lower order thinking skills of applying, understanding and remembering in order to quantify, organise, or outline their knowledge. Evaluation was once regarded as the highest order thinking skill in Bloom's original taxonomy. It uses the lower order thinking skills in order to judge or critique, review or appraise, comment on, justify or argue a point of view. Creation is now the highest order thinking skill, where students design, construct, produce, make, assemble mix and mash.
I am wondering if the PYP thinking and research skills could be combined into just one category, using Blooms Digital Taxonomy. Formulating questions, observing, collecting and recording data, for example, would seem to be developing the lower order thinking skills, whereas organising, interpreting and effectively communicating what has been learnt would appear to be using the higher order thinking skills.
In addition I'm wondering could communication skills and social skills be combined into just one new category: collaboration skills? Collaboration involves working together to achieve common goals, to share knowledge and learning, to build consensus and to create. This does seem to encompass the social skills of accepting responsibility for taking on and completing tasks, respecting others, working cooperatively and resolving conflict and group decision making. It would certainly involve the communications skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, interpreting visuals and multimedia and creating and presenting information and ideas in a variety of ways.
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