I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's stayed in my car after parking it to hear the end of an NPR story. Today, I sat in the cold because I had to hear more of this absolutely delightful StoryCorps episode called "You're My Favorite Person to Talk about Space To." It's worth listening to for so many reasons.
The uncle says something to the boy about how important knowledge is, but also how important sharing that knowledge is, which reminded me of a pedagogical tool called Bloom's Taxonomy. So often, especially in school, we worry about what our children know. But asking knowledge-based questions (meaning there's only one right answer) is considered the most basic and least complex kind of question to ask. Once knowledge is established, it's important to ask increasingly complex questions that foster deeper thinking and application of that knowledge.
Bloom's Taxonomy (updated) progresses from the least rigorous cognitive skill to the most rigorous: remember -- understand -- apply -- analyze -- evaluate -- create
How would Bloom's be applied to the boy in the NPR story?
What is the biggest planet?
How is Jupiter different from Earth?
How are the four inner planets different from the four outer planets?
What makes a planet different from other objects in the solar system?
So is Pluto a planet or not?
Can you develop a set of criteria for identifying planets in other solar systems?
Rather than just asking your child if they remember facts, also ask them the kinds of questions that will get them to apply what they've learned in meaningful ways. It's what a 21st century education is all about.