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Maslow Before Blooms... What Does This Even Mean?

You've probably seen the memes on social media: 
Maslow Before Blooms. 

But what does it actually mean?

Maslow Before Blooms... what does this even mean? This post examines these two theories of human development and learning.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Bloom's Taxonomy are two of the most widely known theories relating to human development and learning. 

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs highlights the importance of physical, emotional, and psychological needs in order to reach self-actualization. 

Let's talk about these parts!

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs: Physiological Needs

Our fundamental needs are quite simple. We all need air, water, food, health care, shelter, and sleep in order to survive and maintain a healthy life. 

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs: Safety and Security Needs

As the world continues to evolve and change, one thing becomes increasingly clear: safety and security needs are at an all-time high. From personal security and property protection to ensuring the safety of family members, it is essential for individuals to stay aware and be proactive about their safety. This need has become stronger in the classroom, as children hear about and practice "active shooter" drills. It's a scary world.

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs: Love and Belonging Needs

Humans have an innate need to feel a sense of belonging, friendship, and family. It's a basic fundamental that serves an important role in our day-to-day lives. Whether it's having someone to talk to or spending quality time with loved ones, these connections are essential for feeling secure and content. Morning meetings and Team Building Games are great for building a sense of belonging in the classroom.

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs: Self-Esteem Needs
It's no secret that self-esteem needs are essential to any individual’s growth and development. When people have a healthy sense of self-esteem, they have the confidence to take on challenges and believe in their capability for achieving great things. 
Maslow's Hierachy of Needs: Self-Actualization Needs

Self-actualization is when an individual exercises their own potential and can accept themselves for who they are. According to Maslow’s theory, humans strive to reach their utmost potential by discovering purpose in life and accepting themselves at all stages of development. Achieving this kind of self-acceptance allows us to reach our full potential, giving us a sense of fulfillment in life. 

Can you hear the angels singing? Honestly, it's rare when small children meet this stage of development. Seriously, not many adults have total self-actualization!

But we can work toward this with our students, can't we?

"Old" Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy classifies different levels of thinking and learning objectives that must be achieved in order for an individual to process information.

When I went to college (many moons ago) This is what Bloom's Taxonomy looked like.

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy

Now it looks like this! I like the new one, as the keywords are all verbs! It's much easier to think about how we can help students achieve these levels. 

Let's explore these levels:

Bloom's Taxonomy: Remember

At its most basic level, Bloom's Taxonomy requires students to recall facts and memorize them. This involves repeating information until it can be recalled with ease. We're talking the very basics, from letters and their sounds, to memorizing math facts, to states and their capitals, or even the periodic table!

Bloom's Taxonomy: Understand

Understanding requires the learner to go beyond that surface-level comprehension and dig into higher-order thinking skills such as summarizing information, identifying key points from a text they read or heard about, describing the main themes from a video they watched, discussing subtle aspects of an article or book they read or paraphrasing complex ideas in their own words. There's a lot more thinking involved here!

Bloom's Taxonomy: Apply

Applying involves taking what you know from one context and using it in another context. It requires students to think beyond basic understanding or remembering facts; instead they must demonstrate their ability to take information and apply it in new situations. 
Bloom's Taxonomy: Evaluate

Students can justify their position on a particular issue by organizing their thoughts into logical arguments that are supported by evidence.

Bloom's Taxonomy: Create

At the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy, producing original work and inventing something new requires learners to synthesize ideas from multiple sources and come up with unique solutions or products. This involves analyzing facts and details carefully, drawing inferences, making comparisons, creating abstractions, and more. This is the level teachers strive for with their students.
Maslow Before Blooms: How Can We Help Our Students

So what can we do to help our students?

The best we can. That's all we can do... the best we can. 
We can make them feel safe, loved, important, and special.

It's a lot, but we do all that every day, 
don't we?

Maslow Before Blooms... what does this even mean? This post examines these two theories of human development and learning.

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