Guiding Students in Writing Data Response Answers Using Bloom’s Taxonomy for Critical Thinking, pp. 3 of 8

For our research, we modified Ahrash and Lemon’s (ibid) rubric. We focused on demystify the thinking process, using Bloom’s Taxonomy as its structure, so that students would be able to describe and compare variables in data sets. For the purpose of this research, we focused on the stages of Remembering, Understanding and Analysing – with the stage of Applying inherently weaved into all the first three stages stated. This is because we believe that the application of the knowledge gleaned from the topic area is inherently applied by the students as the content forms the basis of the questions that they are attempting. Hence, the guide (Figure 2) was created with each stage of Remembering, Understanding and Analysing having clearly defined steps that would help in approaching the questions of describing and comparing data sets with two or more variables.

We did not explicitly write in the content required to answer specific questions, as we wanted to apply the guide across topics in the curriculum. We hoped that with its introduction and with frequent use, the guide would provide students with a scaffold to check their work against. For the teachers, there is an additional column under Marking Rubric. This column can be customised for different data questions.

The Research Context

This study was conducted in a mainstream secondary school with a class of 36 Secondary 5 Normal (Academic) students. These students had PSLE T-scores ranging between 163 to 190, and a mean of 171.  The study was conducted during the revision period for the students and the data response questions were related to the topic of Geography of Food, as this was the most recently covered topic prior to the data collection period. 

This research was conducted in three different stages. Stage 1 involved a pre-test using a data response question with a data set containing 2 variables (refer to Figure 3). This was conducted to establish a baseline against which to measure improvements in students’ answers.

Related Teaching Materials

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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