Bloom’s taxonomy is a toolbox that teachers or students can use to classify and organize learning objectives. It’s most popular version was formalised in 1956 by a group of Psychologists and educators. It is based on the notion of the cognitive domain and assumes that learning should be structured from easy to difficult in 6 steps. Let’s have a look at them!
The full story
On the first level, we learn to remember. There is just rote memorization and recollection of facts without much understanding. For example, if we learn about lemons, we want to remember the name, shape, colour, size and that they are sour. Once we memorize these essentially meaningless facts, we move to the second level of learning.
On level two we learn to understand. We begin to decode information and learn that a lemon is yellow when it’s ripe to eat, and if we take a bite, that it’s really super sour. We also understand that lemons love sunshine and that they contain lots of vitamin C, which is a great natural antioxidant that keeps us healthy. Now as we really understand a lemon, we can work with it.
On the third level, we apply what we know. We’ve understood that while lemons are sour, they are also a great provider of vitamin C. To apply this knowledge in a meaningful way, we could boil a lemon into hot water and add some honey. Then serve this hot lemon to our sick sister, who’s in need of treatment.
On the fourth level, we learn to analyze. This involves examining and breaking down information into components, determining how the parts relate to one another and finding evidence to support generalizations. We study the lemon flesh, examine the skin and look at levels of vitamins. We conclude that we can eat everything inside, while the skin tastes bitter and contains traces of toxic pesticides. It ought not to be consumed.
Now we are ready to evaluate. We analyze, critique and compare. To evaluate our lemon as a good source of vitamins, we compare it to other sources, such as oranges and supplements. We look at the following properties: vitamin levels, affordability, taste, and packaging waste. If we evaluate our thoughts critically and without bias, we learn where the lemons score high and where others score higher.
Now after we have learned, understood, applied, analyzed and evaluated, we are ready to create. As we now really understand lemons, also in comparison to similar things, we can formulate a plan to create our own natural lemonade. It’s now easy to come up with a cute shop design, a good name “sweet lemons” and a good slogan “natural healthy yummy”.
Bloom’s Taxonomy was first formalised in 1946 by American psychologist Benjamin Bloom. The revised version from 2001, as just presented, serves as the backbone of many teaching philosophies, in particular, those that aim towards teaching specific skills. Each level usually comes with a clear learning objective that can be tested. Critics of the taxonomy often question the existence of a sequential, hierarchical link between each level. What are your thoughts? Please share them in the comments below!
“As a university instructor in Education, this is a perfect video that sums up Bloom’s Taxonomy and provides clear examples. I will share it with my students and thank you so much.”– Rayan Bahsoun
- Bloom’s Taxonomy – Wikipedia
- Bloom’s Taxonomy – Centre for Teaching
- 50 Ways To Use Bloom’s Taxonomy In The Classroom – TeachThought
- Read the full script here – by Sprouts
- What No One Tells You About Bloom’s Taxonomy – Education to Save the World
- Here’s What’s Wrong With Bloom’s Taxonomy: A Deeper Learning Perspective – Education Week
- The Unfortunate Consequences of Bloom’s Taxonomy – The Critical Thinking Consortium
Feeling inspired? Try to implement some activities inspired by Bloom’s Taxonomy in your class. Check out this inspiring guide and let us know how it worked for you 🙂 How to use Bloom’s Taxonomy in the classroom