Supercharge Your Teaching With Bloom’s Taxonomy – The Poutama Version

Bloom's taxonomy poutama version Graeme Smith

What is Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Blooms taxonomy has been around for awhile. It’s just a big list of action verbs that are quite useful for talking about learning or framing up learning outcomes. There are various models floating around the web if you do a google search.

If you’ve ever had to look at NZQA unit standards or qualification documents, this is the same kind of language that they use.

What is the Poutama Version of Blooms Taxonomy?

What I did is is a mashup of Bloom’s taxonomy together with the Poutama – a particularly useful model of how learning happens taken from Māori education.

If you want, it’s not hard to make a connection from Vygotsky’s model of proximal development to the poutama model. Ignore this, though, if it’s sounds like gobbledygook.

You can hear more about the Poutama model and story here

How can I use Bloom’s Taxonomy for writing learning outcomes?

The idea is that each step on the Poutama for Bloom’s Taxonomy contains a list of words that you can use to help you write learning outcomes.

In my case, I use it to teach people how to write learning outcomes for things like:

  • embedded literacy and numeracy learning
  • digital badges and micro-credentials
  • task lists for project management purposes

What do I need to know?

In terms of a teaching application, the basic idea is that learners need to move from the lower domains to the higher ones. This is not necessarily a research-driven framework, but it’s very helpful.

What does the Poutama Version of Bloom’s Taxonomy look like?

Here’s the current version that I use:

Bloom’s Taxonomy – Poutama Version

Where can I get a copy?

Hit the link below to download a PDF version on a white background that you can print or share. 

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

3 thoughts

  1. Hi Graeme,

    Very impressive and nice to see this kind of representation. You’ve always been very good at developing such things. But where is the step of synthesis or are you substituting creating’ for synthesis? There’s been some discussion over the years about which is the highest component within the heirachy – Bloom advanced the notion of evaluation as being the highest order cognitive component but others have reasoned that synthesis is not really feasible unless it has been preceded by some king of evaluation.

    Cheers and I trust that you and yours are all well.


    1. Hi Jens

      Great to hear from you. Yes, all is well with us. I based by Poutama version of Bloom’s on the revised version of his taxonomy which shifted evaluation down one step, and replaced creating at the top. So this decision was made by others not me.

      However, I like it because I have to use this model to teach trades and vocational tutors how to write embedded literacy and numeracy learning outcomes. It’s tricky sometimes for this audience to get their heads around the idea of crafting finely tuned learning outcomes that bring together the literacy or numeracy demands of their training together with the actual content. The words used in the revised taxonomy are simply easier to understand. In other words, I don’t have to get into a discussion on what “synthesis” means.

      Another reason is that the received wisdom seems to be that the revised version of the taxonomy lends itself more to web 2.0 type educational outcomes. I like that but it’s not something I get into in the NCALNE (Voc) training. Mostly the tutors that we are training are designing learning outcomes that connect with the three lowest steps on my Poutama – which are basically the same in both models.

      I was fortunate to collaborate with staff from Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi in putting this model together, and in particular with regards to the Maori terminology used.

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