Inverting Bloom’s Taxonomy: The Role of Affective Responses in Teaching and Learning

Robert C. Lagueux


The role that affective responses play in student learning has long been known, but many music history teachers are reluctant to incorporate emotional engagement into their pedagogy for fear that it is too “soft” a classroom goal. Recent research in the brain sciences, however, now offers us a physiological explanation for the role of affective responses in student learning, making clear that teachers should place emotion at the center of their teaching practice. This article proposes that teachers purposefully reunite the cognitive with the affective, offering a re-envisioned version of Bloom’s Taxonomy as one model. After examining the ways that students’ and teachers’ affective responses contribute to cognitive engagement with course material, some concrete strategies for incorporating affective responses into the music history classroom are proposed.


Bloom's taxonomy; student emotion; student affect; pedagogy

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ISSN 2155-109X