Session 99 – How can we spread the benefits of a new taxonomy with SOLO?

The #ukedchat of Thursday 24 May 2012 – there was a tie in the poll between SOLO taxonomy and how it could be embraced and developed as a new taxonomy in schools and the discussion about how secret learning spaces can be used to schools to promote learning in spaces other than classrooms. With it being a tie, host Mark Anderson was given the choice of topics. He chose SOLO.

With that, certain questions needed to be addressed:
•    What is SOLO?
•    What are the benefits of SOLO?
•    How can it be implemented at Primary?
•    How can it be implemented at Secondary?

It was argued by some that they didn’t know what it was and so the questions above were answered. @learningspy’s video from #TMClevedon proved to be an invaluable resource to people wanting to find out what SOLO is and it was also a really good way of demonstrating how it could be related in a subject content way too.

It was found that SOLO is a really good way to ensure that students understand how their learning relates to the subject content in their lessons. A diagram by Tait Coles @totallywired77 was described as a really good way for learners to get a handle on how the taxonomy works. One concern by some people in the discussion was that the language of prestructural, unistructural, multistructural, relational and extended abstract was too difficult for some students to master. This was found to not be a concern though.

@Blenkaz commented “Do-able in primary and my y3 class managed well considering it was first attempt! Terminology was not an issue at all!” This and other conversations regarding primary use led forward to it being clear that this taxonomy is suitable not just for secondary education (where it appears it is used currently more widely) but in primary too.

Other comments about the taxonomy related to how students found that they were able to relate their learning more directly to success and so knew that they were progressing more clearly and felt like they were learning more as a result.

To summarise, an interesting #ukedchat about a taxonomy that is relevant and both primary and secondary with lots of contacts made and some great resources shared. Key tweets and resources shared below:

Tweet of the week:
[pullquote]Solo lessons allow teacher to hand learning over rather than chalk and talk technique. Get students thinking,discussing,evaluating[/pullquote]@JOHNSAYERS: Solo lessons allow teacher to hand learning over rather than chalk and talk technique. Get students thinking,discussing,evaluating
@dockers_hoops: Had two outstanding obs this year. Used SOLO in both and learner progress was absolute key. SOLO helps show this clearly
@noeljenkins: Crucial to have quality explanatory display when embarking on SOLO get pupils to create & good ideas from @Totallywired77
@dukkhaboy: SOLO is the main thing that has helped me structure my lessons better this year
@dockers_hoops same here, ofsted want students making progress #solo allows for this with each stage & it’s independently led!!
@learningspy Biggest issue with potential mass adoption of SOLO as a teaching tool is teachers focusing on HOW and failing to understand WHY


#SOLOarmy Tweeters who champion the use of SOLO
David Doherty @dockers_hoops
Tait Coles @totallywired77
Darren Mead @dkmead
Lisa Ashes @lisajaneashes
David Didau @learningspy
Pam Hook ?@arti_choke
David Fawcett @davidfawcett27
Mark Anderson @ICTEvangelist

Think link:
Introduction to SOLO taxonomy:
SOLO for Dummies:
SOLO Poster:
SOLO related blog:
SOLO & SOLO stations:
SOLO & iPads:
SOLO Taxonomy Playlist via @mentormob explains it all with great examples all tied together:
The Daddy: Pam Hook’s brilliant resource;

Mark Anderson is Subject Leader of ICT at Clevedon School, North Somerset. He has been teaching for 15 years and is currently leading on Teaching & Learning related to the 1:1 deployment of iPads. He regularly organises TeachMeets at #TMClevedon. He writes a personal weblog ( on Teaching & Learning and how this can be advanced through the use of technology and is an active member of the educational Twitter community.


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