My years of practice in Special Education and Coaching Behaviors have made me quite keen to observe the child’s readiness as a precursor to any teaching or presentation of stimuli. In as much as there are cognitive and psychomotor domains in learning; the quintessential affective domain matter.
We cannot teach anything to a child who is not ready. Nowadays, many children are bombarded with multi-sensory stimuli to which they are not cannot acknowledge; hence cannot tolerate. We excitedly jump into teaching the child academics, the letters, the numbers, colors, etc. But is the child able to fix his attention to you or to one object?
Most of our cultures are driven by achievement. For the longest time education and psychology esteemed the students’ motivation for achievement, for the badges and the awards. The student population was generally stratified into those who are high achievers and those who are low achievers. Over the years the paradigm has shifted. Education and psychology is looking into other things. The general population and culture are still in many ways stuck up with the trophies, badges and medals.
Mostly, achievement has been long equated to how much knowledge has been acquired. It is equivalent to how much we can do. But it was seldom tantamount to one’s positive feelings, enthusiasm, values, appreciations and attitudes toward what they have learned. I think these are just equally important to the whole equation. The affective domain of learning in Bloom’s taxonomy is vital. In fact, now, it is being deemed most important.
Sadly, even teachers often undermine the affective domain of learning and limit it to simply motivation. It is more than motivation. The hierarcichal tasks in the affective domain of learning are as follows: receiving, responding, valuing, organization and internalizing. Each task has corresponding actions which needs to be outwardly expressed. Let’s go on to each in detail:
1. Receiving: this refers to the child’s ability to selectively attend to stimuli
Manifestations: A child will be able to (a) accept, (b) acknowledge, (c) be aware, (d) listen, (e) notice, (f) pay attention, or (g) tolerate the stimulus you present to him or her.
2. Responding: refers to the child’s ability to respond to the stimuli through having the child
Manifestations: (1) agree or disagree, (b) answer, (c) assist, (d) care for, (e) communicate, (f) comply, (g) conform, (h) consent, (I) contribute, (j) cooperate, (k) follow, (l) obey, (m) participate, (n) read, (o) visit, (p) volunteer
3. Valuing: refers to the child’s ability to value or worth to something
Manifestation: The child can now (a) adopt, (b) assume, (c) behave, (d) choose, (e) commit, (f) desire, (g) exhibit, (h) express, (I) initiate, (j) prefer, (k)seek, (l) show concern, (m) show desire on the stimulus given and can (n) use resources available or given to him/her
4. Organization: refers to the child’s ability to conceptualize the abstract value and rightfully resolve conflict between values
Manifestations: A child will be able to (a) adapt, (b) adjust, (c) arrange, (d) balance, (e) classify, (f) conceptualize, (g) formulate, (h) group, (I) organize, (j) rank, (j)theorize on the value/s
5. Internalizing/Characterizing: refers to the child’s ability to integrate the values into a value system that controls behavior; it refers to the ability to regulate his/her behavior based on the value he/she has personally organized
Manifestations: The child will be able to (a) act, (b) advocate, (c) defend, (d) exemplify, (e) influence, (f) justify, (g) maintain, (h) serve, (I) support his/her personal value
The affective domain of learning is just as important, although quite overlooked. It is this domain that focuses on attitudes and values. It is what enables our children to have an awareness of his/her environment, makes him/her willing to hear others and. respect for cultural differences. It is also that which equips our children the ways of coping with illness and life’s setbacks.