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Bloom's Taxonomy

  • a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students (learning objectives).
  • Bloom's Taxonomy divides educational objectives into three "domains": Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor (sometimes loosely described as knowing/head, feeling/heart and doing/hands respectively).
  • Within the domains, learning at the higher levels is considered to be dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels.
  • One goal of Bloom's Taxonomy is to motivate educators to focus on all three domains, creating a more holistic form of education.

Cognitive Domain
Skills in the cognitive domain revolve around knowledge, comprehension, and critical thinking on a particular topic. Traditional education tends to emphasize the skills in this domain, particularly the lower-order objectives.
There are six levels in the taxonomy, moving through the lowest order processes to the highest:

Knowledge

Exhibit memory of previously learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers
  • Knowledge of specifics - terminology, specific facts
  • Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics - conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
  • Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field - principles and generalizations, theories and structures
Questions like: What are the health benefits of eating apples?

Comprehension

Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Extrapolation
Questions like: Compare the health benefits of eating apples vs. oranges.

Application

Using new knowledge. Solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way
Questions like: Which kinds of apples are best for baking a pie, and why?

Analysis

Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations
  • Analysis of elements
  • Analysis of relationships
  • Analysis of organizational principles
Questions like: List four ways of serving foods made with apples and explain which ones have the highest health benefits. Provide references to support your statements.

Synthesis

Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions
  • Production of a unique communication
  • Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
  • Derivation of a set of abstract relations
Questions like: Convert an "unhealthy" recipe for apple pie to a "healthy" recipe by replacing your choice of ingredients. Explain the health benefits of using the ingredients you chose vs. the original ones.

Evaluation

Present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria
  • Judgments in terms of internal evidence
  • Judgments in terms of external criteria
Questions like: Do you feel that serving apple pie for an after school snack for children is healthy?

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