It is a set of goals for educators that is based on the way children think and learn.
There are different kinds of thinking and learning.
In Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning, the process of learning/thinking is divided into different levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
We will talk about each one and how they relate to one another, but first let's talk about Dr. Bloom and why he came up with this nifty little theory.
History of Classic Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Learning
In 1948, Dr. Bloom attended the American Psychological Association Convention in Boston. He participated in an informal meeting with fellow college examiners. (He was on the College Exam Board at the University of Chicago.) They decided to meet together from 1948-1954 to hammer out a theoretical framework of learning that could be tested. They came up with educational goals and objectives. They tried to come up with a way to test thinking behaviors and predict educational outcomes. In other words, how can we assess future college students who will be successful. This got the wheels in Dr. Bloom's head turning. In 1956, Dr. Bloom published a book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives--The Classification of Educational Goals--Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain.
Dr. Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999) divided learning into three domains: cognitive (knowing/head), affective (feeling/heart), and psychomotor (doing/hands). Of course, I think Dr. Bloom forgot that there is a spiritual aspect to learning too.
Dr. Bloom believed that learning was hierarchical--you had to had step one before moving to step two. He often referred to lower and higher levels of learning. Dr. Bloom was not against memorization of facts and information, but he encouraged learning to progress past that rote memorization. However, you cannot skip the first step. According to Dr. Bloom, the later levels of learning only happen after facts are learned and remembered. Dr. Bloom wanted to see children memorize facts, apply them, analyze them, compare them to other facts, evaluate them, and create/invent new things scientifically.
How Does Classic Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Learning Work in Teaching/Learning?
Second, when you teach you start at one level and move up to the next level. Students learn the facts first and you make sure they understand the facts before you move on to application of the facts. For example, to involve the first three levels of learning (knowledge, comprehension, and application, a student might read a book, discuss the book with Mom so that she can tell he understands the book, and then paint a picture of the setting of the book based on information in the book.
Let me give you another example. Susie learns about fractions from mom (knowledge) and does four pages of fraction problems, getting them all right (comprehension). Then mother asks her to divide a pizza evenly for the five children in the family (application).
Information, ideas, and principles are remembered and recognized.
Students can identify, write, list, quote, label, name, state, define, relate, recall, repeat, memorize, name, or recite.
Jimmy memorizes his multiplication tables. When he is doing an algebra problem, he is able to remember remember the facts of multiplication when it comes up in the equations.
Shine reads John 3 in the Bible about Nicodemus coming at night to see Jesus and talk to Him about being rebirth, or salvation. She memorizes John 3:16.
Knowledge is understand and can be translated to other situations, fields of study, or topics. New information can be understood in light of other knowledge. Students can put things together that fit together.
Students can restate in own words, explain, summarize, report, express, illustrate, interpret, draw, paraphrase, describe, give examples of, differentiate, conclude, dramatize, exhibit, or show.
Jimmy understands the process of performing his algebra equation and know that he needs to use his memorized multiplication tables when he solves equations that involve multiplication.
Shine summarizes the chapter to her brother and explains how people must be born again to be in a right relationship with God. She explains John 3:16 in simple terms.
Principles and information can be used to fix a problem or complete a task.
Students can use, relate, practice, calculate, show, compute, demonstrate, solve, demonstrate, apply, construct, or build.
Jimmy completes his algebra equation, using his multiplication table facts.
Shine thanks Jesus for His love and for dying on the cross. She asks Jesus to save her and is reborn into the Kingdom of God.
Information and data can be distinguished or classified. Evidence can be give to support ideas. Knowledge can be structured to problem-solve.
Students can analyze, review, compare, probe, examine, experiment, discover, inspect, dissect, discriminate, categorize, compare, contrast, scrutinize, develop, arrange, organize, or separate.
Jimmy sees a new kind of algebra problem that he hasn't seen before. He thinks back to how he solved the other equation and thinks he can use a similar process.
Shine realizes that some of her friends are not born again. She also realizes that she feels different inside since giving her heart to Christ.
Put It All Together (Synthesis)
Ideas can be combined together to create a product, plan, or proposal.
Students can compose, produce, hypothesize, invent, develop, create, assemble, prepare, predict, write, propose, document, generalize, set up, or design.
Jimmy tries the new problem using a similar process, including his memorized multiplication facts.
Shine tells her friends about Jesus and asks them if they want to be born again too. She shares John 3 with them.
Specific criteria and standards can be used to appraise, assess, and critique.
Students can recommend, warn, compare, conclude, measure, critique, justify, judge, appraise, value, infer, choose, estimate, validate, or evaluate.
Jimmy uses estimation to see if he got the right answer. He then gets out a calculator to double-check. He is pleased that he was able to tackle a new problem.
One of Shine's friends gives her heart to Christ. Shine evaluates the process she used of sharing the Gospel and decides to tweak it a little. She will talk to her father and find out how he shares the Gospel with people.
So, you see, using Bloom's Taxonomy is pretty simple. But remember, it starts with the facts and information at the beginning.
Merey (Meredith L Curtis)