Gregorc’s Mind Styles and Bloom’s Taxonomy

As I was reading a book this week, Gregorc’s Mind Styles were mentioned. Reading more into the Mind Styles online, I realized why I’m get bored of doing chores. (And possibly why I think putting dishes in the dishwasher is like playing Tetris.) I’m not sure if it has anything to do with our kids’ not liking to do chores, but it was interesting to see how some tasks can be tiresome for us depending on our Mind Style or learning style. Take a look at the graph of styles here.


Looking at the Concrete Sequential box, (where most chores would fit) you might be thinking it sounds a lot like ‘school’. I’m guessing that all standardized test follow the Concrete Sequential Mind Style. You’ve got order, logical sequence, getting facts, doesn’t do well when there are no right or wrong answer. If your kid doesn’t do well with those tests, like I didn’t, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Your child probably has a different mind style that’s stronger. Not all is lost though. There are ways to strengthen skills to help combat the weakness.


The reason why I say this is from my own observation, my own experience. When I was a sophomore in high school, my first semester English teacher told me that she would let me in honors English the next semester, if I wanted. I was too chicken and did not. It wasn’t until the end of the second semester registering for the next year that I got enough courage to try the change for my junior year, but I had a different teacher and she said no. I went to the counselor and she smiled and said my reading scores were too low. Hmph. I did it anyway. Yes, I falsified papers, but it was a decision I’m not sorry about.


I didn’t make straight A’s in my junior year’s honors English class like my previous years in regular English. But what I had learned was enough to significantly improve my reading scores the next time I took that standardized test. How? My guess it was the questions along with the type of work that my honors English teacher had asked. She asked questions to make us think deeper into the story or whatever it was we were working on. Even if I was given the answer, a little light would go off in my head as I made the connection. She was probably using Bloom’s Taxonomy to see the subject or story or poem from different angles or different cognitive levels.  I wasn’t just reading and answering simple comprehension questions, i.e. what was the setting, main characters, etc. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy allows the teacher and student to get to all areas or cognitive levels, some of which cross over into our mind styles whether we like experimenting or analyzing.


For instance, in 5th grade we performed the play Rip Van Wrinkle. That was fun. I liked that. I knew the story well when we were done. Plays are in the interpreting level on Bloom’s Taxonomy.  I’m going to guess plays are not in the Concrete Sequential box of mind styles since those learners don’t like working in groups. My senior year in high school, we read the story again. I remember my teacher asking me something about what possible reasons he’d have for saying he ‘fell asleep’. I was clueless. The story says, he drank til he passed out in the woods and awoke 20 years later.  My teacher explained perhaps he ran away from his nagging wife. Realistically, that would make sense. He did ‘wake up’ shortly after his wife had died. This would be the Applying and Evaluating part of Bloom’s taxonomy. You can see an example asking questions about Goldilocks And The Three Bears here. Its under “How Can Bloom’s Taxonomy Be Used?”  Since the running away is just speculation, again, it’s not under the Concrete Sequential box of mind styles since its neither right nor wrong.


Perhaps, since I was stimulated by such in-depth questions, I was more likely engaged in the dull beginning of plain ol’ reading comprehension questions. And more apt to remember the answers for tests. If something is boring or just doesn’t grab my attention, how well will I remember it? I can’t say for sure how it helped, but I know I’m not a concrete sequential learner. I have to use other styles to really learn something.


More teachers are using this approach nowadays and its good we, the parents, know about it, too. When our kids read to us or even if we watch movies with them, its good to ask those questions to make connections, getting them to think on different levels about the same ol’ thing. Make a conversation about it. And its ok to provide the answer when they looked stumped. I obviously remember my teacher’s answer and I’m about to have my 25 year reunion. The lesson was learned and built upon. Kids ask questions all the time. If we listen well, we just might be able to figure out what mind style they are and nurture the nature.


I understand with our busy schedule, its hard to stop to go deeper into discussing things with our kids, but don’t hesitate to do it when you have a moment! Take a look at Bloom’s Taxonomy graphs and pick just a couple of things for you to remember the next time you’d like to ask your kid some in-depth questions. I like using the analysis and evaluation (examine and judge for example) because its handy when you need to correct your kid, too. How do you think your brother feels about that? What would make him feel better? It really works well in a lot of areas as you can see. I’m no PhD. I make mistakes, and I’ve mentioned before, I can forget the simplest thing! Just keep going with the intention of trying again later. I am open to questions. Let me know how it goes!