Bloom’s taxonomy refers to a classification of the different learning objectives. It was first presented in 1956, but many changes were later added to the initial classification.
Bloom classifies educational objectives into three domains, namely:
- the affective domain,
- the psychomotor domain,
- the cognitive domain.
Bloom focused on the cognitive domain leaving experts to identify the categories for the other domains.
The cognitive domain
The cognitive domain refers to categories related to knowledge, comprehension, and critical thinking of a particular topic. Bloom classified these categories into six levels, moving through the lowest order processes to the highest:
Recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers.
Verbs: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce, state.
Demonstrative understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating main ideas.
Verbs: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate.
Using new knowledge. Applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.
Verbs: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
Examine and break information into parts.
Verbs: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
Assemble information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.
Verbs: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.
Assessing value, making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work.
Verbs: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.
The target in the affective domain is awareness and growth in attitudes, emotion, and feelings – emotional reaction and ability to feel another living thing’s pain or joy.
Five levels are identified in the affective domain moving through the lowest order processes to the highest:
The lowest level; the student passively pays attention. Without this level, no learning can occur.
Not only does the student attend the learning process but also responds and participates in some way.
Seeing worth in new information
Fitting the new information into existing schema and deciding how the new information makes sense for you
Making the new information part of your schema and exhibiting new behavior, attitude or belief
The Psychomotor Domain is skill based and refers to the learning of skills. Physical skills are the ability to move, act, or manually manipulate the body to perform a physical movement.
There are threes levels in the psychomotor domain according to RH Dave (1967)
Copy action of another
Reproduce activity from instructions
Execute skill reliably, independent of help
Adapt and integrate expertise to satisfy a non-standard objective
Automated, unconscious mastery of activity and related skills at strategic level
Educational implications of Bloom’s taxonomy include the following:
- Bloom’s taxonomy provides a universally effective strategy for creating all type of content to impart learning.
- The taxonomy helps teachers make decisions about the classification of content.
- Bloom’s taxonomy also helps teachers map content to tasks that students need to perform.
- Bloom’s taxonomy guides teachers to develop higher levels of thinking process for critical thinking or creative thinking.
- Using the taxonomy, a teacher develops questions or projects that require the development of thinking and reflection from the knowledge level to the evaluation level.
- A teacher or a syllabus designer designs a curriculum as well as classroom assignment using Bloom’s taxonomy to advance the learning process from recalling learning materials to higher level of thinking.
- A teacher creates class activities based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals; pp. 201–207;B. S. Bloom (Ed.) Susan Fauer Company, Inc. 1956.
- A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing — A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives; Lorin W. Anderson, David R. Krathwohl, Peter W. Airasian, Kathleen A. Cruikshank, Richard E. Mayer, Paul R. Pintrich, James Raths and Merlin C. Wittrock (Eds.) Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. 2001
- “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Handbook II: The affective domain; Krathwohl, D. R., Bloom, B. S., Masia, B. B.; 1964.
- Romiszowski, A (1999) The Development of Physical Skills: Instruction in the Psychomotor Domain, Chapter 19, Instructional Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, Volume II, C. M. Reigeluth, Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.