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The Taxonomy of a Group

Benjamin Bloom was an American educational psychologist in the 20th century. His work about learning levels helped to further the discussion about mastering levels of learning and the further need for learning objectives. Within this discussion about individual learning, there are some great principles that can be applied to group life.

First, how does your group demonstrate learning? The picture above demonstrates how an individual walks through learning at the cognitive level. Of course, in learning, there is not only the cognitive level but also the affective and psychomotor.  Basically, this is the head, heart, and hands. However, within our groups, there are ways that we demonstrate how we learn and interact with Scripture. There are times when our focus is on remembering and understanding. This is a broad appeal to group participants as the essence of what we discuss is about what we understand in Scripture about a topic or doctrine. The focus though is for us to move up the levels to an application and beyond analyzing and evaluation of our current lives according to Scripture.

Second, how does your group motivate towards interaction in learning? If we are there only to recall facts and information about the Bible, then we will excel in the lower levels of learning. However, once we begin to ask transformational questions that lead towards analyzing and evaluation, we will demonstrate how our group progresses by the essence of our discussion. We will then be motivated to move further along in our groups together.

Finally, notice how we want to move towards creation. This isn't creating new doctrine nor does it mean that we lose what we understand and remember; instead, it means that we lead our group towards expressing truth in ways that align with Scripture that they haven't experienced before. At the group level, when we encounter Scripture and the call to make disciples, hopefully, this leads our group to the place of where we are "creating" new groups as people are called to serve and lead others in discipleship.

Questions of reflection:

- Am I leading my group only to be one of understanding and remembering? If so, how can I encourage our group to the higher levels of learning?
- Am I demonstrating learning in my own life through the questions that I ask and encourage people to go to?
- Am I leading my group to the place of creating new groups?

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