The power of solo taxonomy!
It has been a couple of months now since I started using Solo taxonomy with my students at Rossett School. I wanted to really try to embed & gauge it’s impact first before I reflected upon it here in my blog.
Firstly I must thank Tait Coles @totallywired77 & Darren Mead @Dkmead who I follow on twitter for introducing me to Solo.
For those new to the “Power of Solo” it stands for:
Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes. A brief summary of Solo can be found through this link below:
The different levels of Solo can be seen in the picture below:
I started using Solo firstly to try and show my A level PE students how to think more deeply when answering synoptic 10 & 20 mark exam questions. My students were able to think on a unistructural level & give me one fact about a topic. For instance an effect of exercise on the CV system was a stronger, bigger heart. They could even move onto a multi-structural level by stating other effects like increased stroke volume, lower resting heart rate & increased number of red blood cells. However before I introduced Solo to them that was often as far as they got. Like alot of students they struggled to think deeper & to then draw links between some of the facts that they knew. With Solo I started to get them thinking on firstly a relational level. That is could they go beyond simply listing facts and instead analyse these facts, compare & contrast them & explain in detail their relevance to each other.
Then the power of Solo guided some of my more able students into the final layer of learning which is extended abstract. Here in addition to drawing links between facts students started thinking about how other areas or layers of knowledge could be added. Going back to my CV system question from earlier, the students now started linking the different types of training used to improve CV fitness, which principles of training needed applying & which energy system would be pre-dominant & why. I was hugely impressed by what impact Solo had upon their thinking & learning. It really tied into how at Rossett we are striving to create more resilient, responsible & reflective learners.
Solo then shaped my thinking into allowing the students to present their findings to each other, to peer assess using Solo, how their learning had developed. They were able to guide each other through the different stages of learning.
During my recent visit to Australia to present to 3 schools in teaching & learning I took my Solo experiences & shared them with staff there. The results were really positive with colleagues seeing how Solo taxonomy can underpin so many different aspects of learning. The pictures below show them hard at work.
Finally I asked some of my A level PE students to make short videos of themselves talking about how they had used Solo to answer a 20 mark exam question all about flexibility. Here is what one of them had to say: