Learn Boldly: Implementing Marzano’s Taxonomy

January 07, 2013

Using Marzano’s Taxonomy, an updated version of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Santiago Toledo and Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Economics Justin Dubas, are engaging students in what they call active learning. The goal, they said, is to make students separate lower-order thinking skills from higher-order thinking skills by translating existing knowledge into a concept that makes sense to them.

To make the jump into these higher-order thinking skills, students must figure out how what they’re learning in the classroom fits into their universe.

“We expect our students to create their own links,” Toledo said. “Textbooks use analyses but we want our students to relate the concepts they’re learning to something they’ve never seen before. This creates new knowledge which is tough but extremely beneficial.”

Dubas explains how this teaching method can be used for the theory of supply and demand.

“A textbook shows supply and demand curves,” he said. “However, if we look at a news article about a topic relating to supply and demand from an analytical level, the students can see how the theory works by creating their own examples. This is important because it’s more than just studying and memorizing. It’s transferring knowledge and making students become independent learners.”

Every student brings together a piece of knowledge and ultimately makes it theirs, Toledo said.

“Each lesson is a progression,” Toledo said. “While we expect the best from our students, we base instruction on their progress. We sometimes separate the room into groups of who understands more and who is still struggling with the concept. Our classes are mostly student-led discussion where we’ll intervene only to clarify or give examples.”

Both said this makes students reach answers.

“We want them to make a conscientious choice to distill information down to core ideas. Our students now will be held accountable for their own learning in the future. We’re giving them the reigns now. Our students are bright and talented and that’s why we expect greatness. When we expect that from them, they expect it from themselves.”


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