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SOLO Taxonomy

VLC Training 2014


Steve Walker

Further reading:
Ross Morrison McGill,
or @TeacherToolkit

Full on Learning by
Zoe Elder

Further Reading
http://pamhook.com/sol
o-taxonomy/

http://leadinglearner.
me/

http://leadpractitionerswr.wordpr
ess.com/

SOLO Taxonomy
By the end of this session
you will
Have a clear
understanding of what
SOLO Taxonomy is and the
theory behind it; be able to
link what it can do for you
in the classroom with your
learners to address issues
raised by Ofsted (and
others) that prevent
Bradford Academy from
being an outstanding
school; have an
opportunity to apply SOLO
to your own practice and
think about next steps.

Learning Steps
Explore the theory behind SOLO Taxonomy.
Link it to the issues facing the Academy as
we aim to move from Good to Outstanding.
Focus on Rapid Progress, Learning over
Tasks, Differentiation, Feedback and LOT to
HOT.
Case study SOLO in action.
Questions and planning next steps.

What is SOLO Taxonomy?


SOLO stands for Structured Observed
Learning Outcomes. Those colleagues
familiar with DeBonos Hats or Blooms will
not have too much trouble with the basic
idea behind SOLO. However SOLO goes
beyond Blooms and is better for both
learners and teachers because it is a theory
of learning not knowledge.

What is SOLO Taxonomy?


With SOLO we can plan thoughtful and creative
learning experiences that are focused on the
learning rather than the activity. It allows for more
rapid progress as it uses Pupil Level Feedback to
identify prior learning so that learners can start
accessing the learning at different entry points.
Rather than feedback SOLO can provide
Feedforward so that learners can reflect on
their current understanding and have opportunities
to develop this to a more complex level.

But what do these


mean?

Dance SOLO
By Lindsey
Shepherd

Possible
design to use
with Primary:

For English?

SOLO and
Ofsted Outstanding

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yste unders
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Teac
Teac all pupi lesson.
heck hout the
teac her s p
c
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h le
hrou
e na
sson n and
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b
Teachers use well judged
lear le all p s that
n
and often imaginative
wel excep upils t
l.
o
t io n
teaching strategies in order
ally
to match individual needs
accurately.

Consequently all pupils learn


exceptionally well
across the curriculum.

Why we are not an


outstanding school
Teaching is not
consistently
Good and not enough
teaching is
Outstanding.
Pupil progress is not
always good.
We need to use
information about pupil
prior learning to plan
and provide learning
opportunities for all
learners, whatever their
ability that enable them

Fear of being creative and


taking risks in lessons often
prevents Good teachers
becoming Outstanding SOLO
helps shift this mind set.
SOLO creates differentiation
that allows all learners to
demonstrate good visible
progress.

Learners self reflect on


their progress in their
understanding of a new
topic. They then select
SOLO activities that
allow them to build upon
this and make further
rapid progress.

What did Ofsted say we


need to do?
ensure that teachers
use information about
how well pupils have
learned to plan future
lessons and always set
work for pupils,
whatever their ability,
that enable them to
make at least good
progress in all lessons.

Focus on Progress
Using Thinking
Skills to create
differentiation.

A sequence of lessons planned to achieve a


DEEP

LEARNING GAIN

Replace learning objectives with


learning steps

ds

learners prior
learning or

existing
understanding.
Prior, Current, End

ASSESSMENT

DIFFERENTIATION

the
Use SOLO TAXONOMY
Use variable entry that lead the student towar
to construct main
LEARNING GAIN.
points based upon
teaching

Regularly in
order to
reshape the
Peer, Teacher, Self
learning
steps.
Expectations that
all learners

HIGH

will achieve the learning gain.

activities
that
allow all learners
to make rapid
progress towards
the
learning
gain.

Replace learning objectives with


learning steps

ds the

that lead all students towar


LEARNING GAIN.

A sequence of lessons planned to achieve a


DEEP

LEARNING GAIN

Replace learning objectives with


learning steps

ds

learners prior
learning or

existing
understanding.
Prior, Current, End

ASSESSMENT

DIFFERENTIATION

the
Use SOLO TAXONOMY
Use variable entry that lead the student towar
to construct main
LEARNING GAIN.
points based upon
teaching

Regularly in
order to
reshape the
Peer, Teacher, Self
learning
steps.
Expectations that
all learners

HIGH

will achieve the learning gain.

activities
that
allow all learners
to make rapid
progress towards
the
learning
gain.

Use questioning

A sequence of lessons planned to achieve a


DEEP

LEARNING GAIN

Replace learning objectives with


learning steps

ds

learners prior
learning or

existing
understanding.
Prior, Current, End

ASSESSMENT

DIFFERENTIATION

the
Use SOLO TAXONOMY
Use variable entry that lead the student towar
to construct main
LEARNING GAIN.
points based upon
teaching

Regularly in
order to
reshape the
Peer, Teacher, Self
learning
steps.
Expectations that
all learners

HIGH

will achieve the learning gain.

activities
that
allow all learners
to make rapid
progress towards
the
learning
gain.

I am so
HOT!

Where SOLO is most effective is in promoting differentiation and


allowing learners to demonstrate rapid progress and in its ability to
move learning from LOT to HOT.

SURFACE

Lower
Order
Thinkin

Higher
Order
Thinking
Skills

Skills

DEEP

CONCE

The most powerful model for understanding


these three levels surface, deep and
conceptual, and integrating them into learning
intentions and success criteria is the SOLO
model developed by Biggs and Collis in 1982.
Hattie 2012

SOLO in action
Year 10 History GCSE students have been studying the Cold War.
Their final unit examines Dtente and the End of the Cold War.
Through questioning of
learners in class it became clear, reinforced by discussions with
individuals after class, that the understanding of this key
concept dtente was surface at best.

This is an example of regular


assessment being used to reshape
the planned learning.

SOLO in action
In concert with my colleagues in the History department we
agreed to
reshape the planned learning for this unit and spend time
making sure
our learners had deep and conceptual understanding before
moving on.
We also recognised that this would prepare our learners for a
learning challenge that would further assess their understanding
and develop their thinking and speaking skills.
First learners used SOLO to
assess
their current understanding of the
learning on dtente.

Learners read the SOLO


level
descriptors and decide upon
their
current understanding.
There is an expectation that
they
provide an evidence
statement to explain their
choice.
This will provide them with
their personal starting
point.