SOLO Taxonomy & Constructive Alignment
The change to my teaching that had the most dramatic long lasting impact was to introduce The Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) Taxonomy and Constructive alignment Biggs & Collis (1982) and Biggs & Tang (2007). I introduced it to all my lessons in all year groups. Although the results with the older children were impressive at the time, the long term work with year 3 through to year 6 gave four years experience learning a system that gives clear guidelines for moving from surface learning to deep conceptual understanding. After introducing SOLO learning verbs the students and myself engaged in direct dialog on "How am I doing" and "Why am I doing this". The use of SOLO declarative and functioning knowledge verbs can help both teacher and student define learning intentions supporting a dialogic pedagogy. At the start the children often were unsure which SOLO stage they had achieved, within less than a term they had began to master the system. Learning is aligned with outcome and assessment. Activities develop skills identified by outcome and then this prepares students for their assessment.