Bec: So what is solo taxonomy? Basically it is a model that we can use to describe increasing complexity in students understanding. During this presentation the model we will be referring to is based on Pam Hook and Julie Mill’s work with solo which came from the model proposed by John Biggs and K Collis. We would like to point out that we have only been working with this model over the few months ourselves and certainly are not experts in the field. At the end of the session we will give you links to lots of related material that will provide all the background information, resources and examples of solo in action. 1 min
Bec: This is the original solo taxonomy model – don’t be scared. Although it looks very overwhelming to begin with, please trust us, once you start using it - the language becomes second nature – even to year ones. The first stage is pre-structural – it may seem like you don’t even need to consider this one but just be aware that everyone knows nothing about sometime– we will all be pre structural to begin with in some things...Then its uni-structural which means that you know one thing – its very easy to know just one thing about some thing. The third stage is multi-structural where you know a whole lot of things but they are not related to each other – just random facts in effect. Then its the relational stage which is when you know a whole lot of ‘stuff’ that is related or connected in some way/s. The final stage is extended abstract which is where you get the really high level thinking that of course we are all aiming to achieve.1min
Di: Okay, so here is what it looks like at Tiniroto School. We wanted to adapt the model so that all of the children in our multi-level class could use it in a meaningful way to talk about their thinking and learning. Being rural children, making the connection with the butterfly life-cycle was something they could easily relate to and connect with. I liked the idea that no stage is any less important than any other stage, you can’t have a butterfly without going through all of the other stages – and of course you can’t skip any stages. In a multi-level learning environment and in any learning environment there are always students at every level who are not necessarily at the same age and this model values all stages of progression as being important. The egg is not an empty shell– it is full of potential, the caterpillar gets fatter as it gathers more stuff and the caterpillar can get as fat as it likes but it is still just a caterpillar. Then the analogy of the chrysalis works so well because all of the earlier stages are now being acted on inside / a cooking pot for the previous stages– its not something new. This is where the metamorphosis - or the thinking about all the stuff we have found out really happens. At the extended abstract stage you can easily see all of the aspirations of the NZ curriculum evident. Learners at this stage are being creative, innovative, entrepenerial really engaging with the facts and comming up with new understandings and new outputs. 1.30min
Bec: Okay, lets have a look at the vocabulary from Pam Hooks ‘Hooked on thinking’ site that really holds it all together. There is a real emphasis on learning verbs – this is how we can distinguish where the learning activity fits in relation to the stages. Show slide 3 again if getting stuck – there are a few examples of where some verbs might sit in the taxonomy.Right, when you came into the room there was a lolly in a coloured wrapper on your table – since you are teachers you should be able to organise yourselves quickly into groups of the same coloured lolly – c’mon you know the drill.1. Here is a solo taxonomy framework – and as you can see it doesn’t have to be fancy! (Di put up on wall)2. We are going to hand out a selection of verbs and ask you to discuss them in your group. 3. Here are the names of each stage of the taxonomy, you need to organise the verbs under each name where you think they fit – remember your justification is what will determine which is the appropriate stage is for each verb.Lets have a look and see what we came up we can come up with – When we did this activity ourselves we had some healthy debates and we certainly expect there to be some today. - take a photo. 2 min10 minAs you can see it is not an easy task because many of the verbs can go across the stages depending on what the related activity is actually asking the learner to do.
Di: We are going to watch a short clip of a student explaining where he thought he was at. 2minAs you can see this student was pretty confident that he knew lots of stuff and that that was great! Turn to the person beside you and discuss what you noticed about where he was at in his thinking in relation to the taxonomy. What else did you notice? 4 minThis is where most of our learners are at and the hard part is how to get them on to the next stages. Lets have a look at some different activities we have typically given students.
Bec: Lets have a look at some of the different activities we have typically given students. We are going to do a similar activity to the verbs with sorting these activities.5mins
Di: We are going to go to Pam Hook’s site now and have a look at one resource, On her website there is a wealth of information and resources – web 2Here are some web 2 icons to get you started. How do you think you could use them to enhance your students learning and where do you think they will fit in. Turn and talk / or small group.
Both these places are full of helpful resources, slideshows, videos of solo in action. I urge you to take the time to explore the wealth of information compiled by Pam Hook and Julie Mills.
You can see the enthusiasm in the students once they get going – the language is certainly no barrier to this wee munchkin!
Solo Taxonomy<br />@ Tiniroto<br />Rebecca Trafford and Di Roadley<br />
What is Solo Taxonomy?<br />The Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO)<br />Taxonomy is a model that describes levels of increasing complexity in students understanding.<br />It was proposed by John B Biggs and K. Collis.<br />Pam Hook and Julie Mills have used this as a tool to create a common language for students and teachers to talk about their thinking and learning. (wikipedia)<br />