Problem Statement: In this article, we summarize a group-based, self-development curriculum based on humanistic principles, framed by contemporary self-determination theory (SDT), and designed in accordance with Bloom’s Taxonomy. The processes of awareness and integration are common to SDT and Bloom’s Taxonomy, and to our knowledge, have not been applied together with the practical goal of promoting the student self-development in an educational setting.
Purpose of the Study: The underlying assumptions of our curriculum hold that (1) the self functions as the psychological agent responsible for regulating personal behavior, and that (2) personal growth is an outcome of the motivation to fulfill intrinsic goals coupled with the integration of learning through an awareness of personal limitations and potentialities. We describe the design and implementation of a school-based curriculum that integrates core elements of SDT with the sequential levels of cognitive and affective learning articulated by Bloom’s Taxonomy and that is intended to facilitate the student self-development.
Method: Three distinct theoretical and empirical ingredients of SDT form the basis of our curriculum: goals and values, organismic integration, and mindful action. These core components of SDT are rooted in the humanistic tradition but can be transformed into a sequence of practical learning goals and activities when viewed through the lens of Bloom’s Taxonomy. We demonstrate how Bloom’s Taxonomy provides the architecture needed to implement the elements of SDT in such a way that students are able to engage in a programmatic process of self-development. In other words, the levels of Bloom Taxonomy are used to structure the application of the broad SDT/humanistic principles on which personal growth is founded.
Findings: Combined with the anecdotal reactions of group members and facilitators, our impressions suggest that the consistent expression of personally selected values and characteristics requires that these aspects first become internalized as meaningful guides for living, second, motivate behavior that is consistent with the chosen values and characteristics, and third, contribute to a sense of well-being and personal growth.
Conclusion and Recommendations: The process of self-development can be facilitated by the internalization of cognitive learning and is supported by affective processes that, together, yield favorable developmental outcomes for students. Although we did not subject our group-based curriculum to rigorous empirical evaluation, we encourage efforts to establish its effectiveness through qualitative and quantitative research.
Keywords: Self-awareness, motivation, personal growth, Bloom’s Taxonomy