Originated by Benjamin Bloom and collaborators in the 1950’s, Bloom’s Taxonomy describes six levels of cognitive learning. By creating intended learning outcomes using measurable verbs, teachers are able to indicate exactly what the student must do in order to demonstrate learning. It was revised in 2001 by a group of cognitive psychologists.
The original taxonomy included:
Knowledge – information gathering
Comprehension – confirming knowledge and use of knowledge
Application – making use of knowledge
Analysis – taking apart
Synthesis – putting together
Evaluation – judging the outcome
The revised framework follows, with examples:
- Remembering: Students will recall the spelling of a word.
Verb examples: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state
- Understanding: Students will predict the meaning of the word based on its use in the text then clarify it’s meaning with the dictionary definition.
Verb examples: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate
- Applying: They will implement it into a sentence showing that they know how it’s used.
Verb examples: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write
- Analyzing: Students will distinguish its use by seeing how it’s used as an adjective, adverb, and noun.
Verb examples: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
- Evaluating: Students will judge whether or not the word is used correctly within a given text.
Verb examples: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate
- Creating: Students will construct their own sentences (or paragraph or story for more words) using the word correctly in its three different forms.
Verb examples: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write
Bloom’s Taxonomy can be represented in a pyramid form with simple knowledge-based recall questions at the base. As you move up the pyramid, teachers ask students increasingly challenging questions to test their comprehension of given material. With the increase of critical thinking questions, students are able to develop all levels of thinking. They will improve their attention to detail, and aid problem solving skills.