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Marzano’s New Taxonomy Cheat Sheet by

taxonomy     marzano


Marzano’s New Taxonomy is made up of three systems and the Knowledge Domain, all of which are important for thinking and learning. The three systems are the Self-S­ystem, the Metaco­gnitive System, and the Cognitive System.

When faced with the option of starting a new task, the Self-S­ystem decides whether to continue the current behavior or engage in the new activity; the Metaco­gnitive System sets goals and keeps track of how well they are being achieved; the Cognitive System processes all the necessary inform­ation, and the Knowledge Domain provides the content.

Knowledge Domain

Tradit­ion­ally, the focus of most instru­ction has been in the component of knowledge. Students were assumed to need a signif­icant amount of knowledge before they could think seriously about a subject. Unfort­una­tely, in tradit­ional classr­ooms, instru­ction rarely moved beyond the accumu­lation of knowledge, leaving students with a mental file cabinet full of facts, most of which were quickl­y-f­org­otten after the final test.

Knowledge is a critical factor in thinking. Without sufficient inform­ation about the subject being learned, the other systems have very little to work with and are unable to engineer the learning process succes­sfully. A high-p­owered automobile with all the latest techno­logical features still needs some kind of fuel to make it fill its purpose. Knowledge is the fuel that powers the thinking process. Marzano identifies three categories of knowledge: inform­ation, mental proced­ures, and physical proced­ures. Simply put, inform­ation is the “what” of knowledge and procedures are the “how-to.”

Inform­ation consists of organizing ideas, such as princi­ples, genera­liz­ations, and details, such as vocabulary terms and facts. Principles and genera­liz­ations storie more inform­ation with less effort by placing concepts into catego­ries.
Mental Proced­ures
Mental procedures can range from complex processes, such as writing a term paper to simpler tasks such as tactics, algori­thms, and single rules. Tactics, like reading a map, consist of a set of activities which do not need to be performed in any particular order. Algori­thms, like computing long division, follow a strict order which does not vary by situation. Single rules, such as those covering capita­liz­ation, are applied indivi­dually to specific instances.
Physical Proced­ures
The degree to which physical procedures figure into learning varies greatly by subject area. The physical requir­ements necessary for reading may consist of no more than left-t­o-right eye movement and the minimal coordi­nation needed to turn a page. Conver­sely, physical and vocational education requires extensive and sophis­ticated physical processes, such as playing tennis or building a piece of furniture. Contri­buting factors to effective physical processing include strength, balance, manual dexterity, and overall speed of movement.

Marzano’s New Taxonomy

Cognitive System - Four Components

The mental processes in the Cognitive Domain take action from the Knowledge Domain. These processes give people access to the inform­ation and procedures in their memory and help them manipulate and use this knowledge. Marzano breaks the Cognitive System down into four compon­ents: know­ledge retrieval, compre­hen­sion, analysis, and knowledge utiliz­ati­on. Each process is composed of all the previous processes
Know­ledge Retrie­val
Like the knowledge component of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Knowledge Retrieval involves recalling inform­ation from permanent memory. At this level of unders­tan­ding, students are just recalling facts, sequences, or processes exactly as they were stored.
Compre­hension requires identi­fying what is important to remember and placing that inform­ation into approp­riate catego­ries. Therefore, the first skill of compre­hen­sion, synthesis, requires the identi­fic­ation of the most important components of the concept and the deletion of any that are insign­ificant or extran­eous.
More complex than simple compre­hen­sion, the 5 cognitive processes in Analysis are matching, classi­fying, error analysis, genera­lizing, and specif­ying. By engaging in these processes, learners can use what they are learning to create new insights and invent ways of using what was learned in new situat­ions.
Know­ledge Utiliz­ation
The final level of cognitive processes addresses the use of knowledge. Marzano calls these processes Knowledge Utiliz­ation, or Using Know
ledge. The processes of using knowledge are essential components of thinking for projec­t-based learning since they include processes used by to accomplish a specific task.

Metaco­gnitive System

The metaco­gnitive system is the “mission control” of the thinking process and regulates all the other systems. This system sets goals and makes decisions about which inform­ation is necessary and which cognitive processes best suit the goal. It then monitors the processes and makes changes as necessary.

Self System

Providing students with instru­ction in cognitive strate­gies, even with Metaco­gnitive skills, is not always enough to ensure that they will learn. Teachers are often pleasantly surprised to discover that a student has accomp­lished a task that they considered to be far too difficult. These situations occur because at the root of all learning is the Self-S­ystem.

Self System is comprised of the atti­tudes, beliefs and feelings that determine an indivi­dual’s motivation to complete a task. The factors contri­buting to motivation are: import­ance, efficacy, and emotio­ns.

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