Letting the Flower Create the Root

Bloom’s Taxonomy. The name starts out making me think of colors, blossoms and growth (Bloom’s) and ends by threatening me with an insinuation of taxes and monotony (Taxonomy). Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy seems even more threatening ‘cuz it’s got that Digital thing in there: http://tinyurl.com/438yalc  But as I read this article and absorbed the diagrams, I thought about how I learn and my attitudes as I approach new information, especially when that information involves technology. First, I should explain that I am picturing Bloom’s Taxonomy as a flower, with the creative layer (evaluation) at the top and the remembering layer (knowledge) at the bottom. Creativity is reaching toward the sun, glorious with its shimmering petals and supporting sepals, and remembering is in the dirt, down there with the compost and the worms. Both parts are important, of course, along with the stuff in between, but I know what motivates me. I don’t grow a flower to admire its intricate root structure (although I am sure that does have its own beauty). I grow a flower to eventually see the blossom.

I suspect that my students may be the same. If they are motivated by the opportunity to create something that interests them and impresses their peers, then they will have the patience to work their way up through the layers of Bloom’s Taxonomy so that they have the resources to get to the colorful finish. And just as the root systems of plants tend to spread out and support each other, these networked students can help each other grow as they share knowledge and both challenge and affirm each other’s ideas. Connectivity has its merits.

I think about the task that waits for me, with a deadline looming in December. Finishing my first digital illustrated children’s book is a very motivating goal for me… but just thinking about all the steps I need to take to get there, makes me weak in the knees. I’m afraid that my roots and stems will not grow fast enough to support that bud. I do have my own helpful connections, digital and personal. I suspect that my tech-savvy hubby will be helping quite a bit as he has in the past. I want to be able to build my digital independence, but there is so much to learn at once. I will try to remember to take it one step at a time, and to not be afraid of the dirt and the worms. Bring it on.

3 thoughts on “Letting the Flower Create the Root

  1. Adam posed this question after reading my post: ” I wonder what your thoughts are for the “roots” in the creative process and how connectivity either contributes or detracts from that. ”

    This is an excellent question because although great artists do borrow, the prevalence of “mash-ups” is now so overwhelming that when one does find originality in the modern technosphere, it is arresting. I find that to really get into my creative zone, I have to push aside all the sights and sounds that vie for my attention. l usually do best by writing in the middle of the night after waking up from a dream, or finding a quiet place in my house and in my head where I can hunker down and just write for a while. It seems like it is getting harder to find that place of stillness. One time, when trying to meet a publisher’s deadline, I had to fly to my parents’ house in Washington State and there, away from the demands of family and household, I managed to finish it all in time.

  2. Thanks for this reply, Ruth. I find my creative process benefits from “sparks” from others. This used to occur in certain books that I’d go to for inspiration. Now it is often through Twitter and the links people share. I love the serendipity of discovering something that make my mind whirl…

    At the same time, occasionally I come across something that really is what I was looking for or close enough so that I opt for an easier less-creative path. Sometimes this is helpful but at others it is just the easy way out albeit properly cited with credit given where credit is due. Thanks for this thought provoking post. -AC

  3. Interesting reflection on Bloom’s Taxonomy Ruth. One of the ways I use the old Taxonomy is as a model on how to help students identify their level of thinking. As a TOK teacher I see many of my students struggle to identify when they are analyzing/synthesizing vs describing or identifying. I wonder what the potential uses of the new taxonomy are for students with regard to technology.The illustration from your book is exquisite!!

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