Using the "New Taxonomy" to Design and Assess Educational Objectives

In September I posted a brief overview of Bloom’s Taxonomy, something I have used to develop lesson objectives since I first became a teacher. Since that post, I have spent a lot of time reading about Robert Marzano’s “New Taxonomy.” On a plane trip to New York, I found myself captivated by Marzano and John Kendall’s Designing & Assessing Educational Objectives (or buy it here). On that trip I created this document that I have uploaded to Scribd, which I have been using to lesson plan ever since:

New Taxonomy

Why I now use the New Taxonomy instead of Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s taxonomy was created to “develop a codification system whereby educators could design learning objectives that have a hierarchic organization” (Marzano, Designing A New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, p. 1). The New Taxonomy serves the same purpose, but in my opinion the objectives are organized in a more direct way.

The New Taxonomy stands apart from Bloom in that it separates types of knowledge from the mental processes that operate on them. The first four levels refer to the Cognitive System, while the last two levels refer to the Metacognitive System (setting and monitoring personal learning goals) and Self-System (attitudes and beliefs that affect one’s motivation to learn). As teachers we know that motivation is essential to learning. The New Taxonomy offers a nice reminder that we must be aware of our students’ motivation to learn what we teach or at least make them aware of their own motivation and goals.

I will admit that at first I found this system confusing, but once I challenged myself to dig into the book, it has paid off. The chart that I created using the book has been vital to my lesson planning. Do not read this post without checking this out!

Practical applications from Marzano and Kendall’s book
I was captivated by this book because of the number of examples it contained. Once you get used to the format, it is a really quick read. The summaries at the end of the chapters are excellent. Also, the book is loaded with tons of examples of objectives and assessments. There are many graphic organizers and assessment ideas which can also be found in another of Marzano’s books: Classroom Instruction that Works

Does this New Taxonomy seem helpful for you as a teacher? Would you rather stick with Bloom’s Taxonomy?


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About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Digital Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator and To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach.

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