Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bloom and ZPD

In the courses that I have lectured, the focus is on teaching effective reading strategies to assist student comprehension of information (text) on a literal and inferential level. Students are evaluated in the beginning of the semester with a multiple choice practice test and a summary writing exam. Based on my evaluation of these assessments a platform is established in which I proceed with teaching strategies and approaches that will bring about the best results from students based on their abilities. These are taught and reviewed by applying them to different forms of text as well as online testing material (RC program, Townsend Press).

The ZPD is an approach that helps me to determine student ability on an independent and assisted level. The level at which students seem to "coast" is applicable to Bloom's categories of learning which can be interpreted as a specific level of reading comprehension. The early semester assessments help to determine at what level of the taxonomy individual students fall.

I would like to continue to use these approaches in a more effective manner through collaboration  where student ability is assessed and used to establish strengths and weaknesses, moving towards guided practice that promotes critical thinking using the application of reading techniques learned in class across two different course levels. From this my goal is to guide students in becoming better independent learners. 


  1. It's excellent to hear that you gauge student knowledge prior to, what do you utilize for that, the TOEFL?

    Very similarly, within my public speaking classes, in a more casual way, elicits the same type of baseline reading so to speak. I have students speak about general topics on the first several days to personally note their strengths and weaknesses.

    Many of us forget, or consider it difficult to determine or practically use an approach like that.

    What are your plans for Web 2.0 tool usage? :)

  2. Hi Porsha,

    I am also intersted to learn if you have decided on a particular Web 2.0 tool at this point...especially after our discussion, where none of us was quite sure which tool(s) we could/would utilize.

    Do you assess students in similar ways at the end of the term or do you have diffent tools/approaches?

    By the way, I really like the idea of building the "community" across two course levels.


  3. Porsha,

    I am intrigued by your description of teaching reading and how you assess early on. Admittedly, this is more for personal reasons as I think about how I want to support my son's learning to make inferences as he develops his reading ability (he is in fourth grade!). But as far as the level of our students, I wonder what your scaffolding looks like as you assist your students in navigating their ZPD. In my class, my hope is that my students will support/scaffold one another in deepening their understanding of the material that they are reading through a healthy exchange of ideas. I am just trying to figure out how I will scaffold the group and give enough room for them to assist one another -- by appropriately challenging ideas and pushing one another to go beyond the obvious.


  4. Hi, Porsha: I wonder if what you do in your class dovetails with (or could be enriched) by what Wynne posted about Depth of Knowledge Levels. I am teaching a reading section of ESL reading this semester and find that the challenge to address language/literacy is aided by thinking about ZPD. I intend to have them practice summarizing on our blog.
    I'd love to know more about your students and what they read. Maria