I was thinking about the Approved Driving Instructor Part 1 Theory Test and how the three learning domains are highlighted: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Over the next three emails I am going to talk about each one.The cognitive domain is all about our thought processes. When teaching thinking, it can be helpful to consider the level by level approach in Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning, which provides a framework of learning and building.
I first came across Bloom’s Taxonomy when studying for an advanced certificate of adult education. I have provided a link to a PDF which will give you more details.
There are six levels that work on producing critical thinking and this may prove useful to you as a driving instructor when you are helping to develop a thinking driver.
The six levels are:
Level I Knowledge
Level 2 Comprehension
Level 3 Application
Level 4 Analysis
Level 5 Synthesis
Level 6 Evaluation
Blooms Level I: Knowledge
This is focused on factual information and would be useful for targeting knowledge from The Highway Code and Driving - the essential skills. This level is about memory and recall of factual information. Questions that you would ask are fairly simple, for example, about the rules: 'How would you explain the rules of a yellow box junction?' or 'What do these road markings mean?'
Blooms Level 2: Comprehension
If your client can demonstrate their understanding of the facts, this would show their comprehension. You could also ask simple questions, like: 'Please explain why you would use offside to offside at crossroads?' or 'Look at this diagram of a multi-lane roundabout. Describe which lanes you would use when taking the fourth exit?'
Blooms Level 3: Application
Your clients need the ability to solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different, or new way. Quite often if you are test focused and tell your client how to do things in a certain way on a route they would lose the ability to problem solve and so when something different happens they lack the skills to work it out for themselves.You could ask them to plan a route that would involve parking at a railway station to pick up or drop off a passenger and get them to identify what challenges they might face at different times of day.
Questions you may ask would be: 'What would be the best direction to approach the station from?' or 'What would you do if you cannot find any where safe to stop when you get there?'
• How would you use…?
• How would you solve ___ using what you’ve learned…?
• What examples can you find to…?
• How would you show your understanding of…?
• How would you organize _______ to show…?
• How would you apply what you learned to develop…?
• What approach would you use to…?
• What other way would you plan to…?
• What would result if…?
• Can you make use of the facts to…?
• What elements would you use to change…?
• What facts would you select to show…?
• What questions would you ask during an interview?
Blooms Level 4: Analysis
You would get your client to examine what they are doing. For example, if your learner was struggling with a manoeuvre you might break the manoeuvre down into its component parts or take each one of the core skills and focus on one of them at a time whilst you take responsibility for the other two. They could then examine how control could be linked to accuracy and observational skills. Questions might be: 'How is control related to accuracy and observation?' 'What motivation do you have to stick to the speed limit?' 'Compare my driving to your own - what are the fundamental differences?'
Blooms Level 5: Synthesis
This is putting information together differently and is probably very challenging if your client doesn't have the ability to think outside the box. For example, imagine the road is narrow, there is a dustcart coming towards you and there is not enough room to pass. You could ask: 'What alternatives are there for you to pass this dustcart on this road?' 'Can you predict the outcome if you were to take this action on the test?' You could also encourage your client to blog their own learning experiences with you.
Blooms Level 6: Evaluation
In our industry, the biggest tool you can give your client is the ability to self-evaluate. Reflective logs help them in this process. You could also use questions that challenge their own thinking which would include words like: 'Defend your actions in this situation.' or 'Interpret what you are thinking so I can understand your point of view.' 'I value your thoughts and opinions of the driver of the blue car that has cut us up. Explain what you believe they were thinking?' Or create a story of crash that happened and discuss the contributory factors of that crash were.
I would imagine that we use Bloom's Taxonomy everyday in our training but how could you utilise this hierarchy of learning to improve your own training?
If you are interested in learning and development then you might like to consider joining us on the BTEC Level 4 Professional Award in Coaching for Driver Development where we help make the complex simple.