Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical model used to classify educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity. It was first created by Benjamin Bloom and his colleagues in 1956, and has been revised by subsequent educators. The taxonomy is widely used in educational settings to guide the development of curriculum, assessments, and instructional methods.

The original Bloom’s Taxonomy has three domains:

  1. Cognitive Domain (knowledge-based)
  2. Affective Domain (emotion-based)
  3. Psychomotor Domain (action-based)

Cognitive Domain

The Cognitive Domain is the most commonly referenced and consists of six levels, which are often depicted as a pyramid with the simplest level at the bottom and the most complex at the top:

  1. Remembering: Recalling facts and basic concepts (e.g., memorizing terms, defining concepts)
  2. Understanding: Explaining ideas or concepts (e.g., summarizing, describing, discussing)
  3. Applying: Using information in new situations (e.g., implementing, carrying out, using)
  4. Analyzing: Breaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationships (e.g., comparing, organizing, deconstructing)
  5. Evaluating: Justifying a decision or course of action (e.g., checking, critiquing, assessing)
  6. Creating: Producing new or original work (e.g., designing, constructing, planning)

Affective Domain

The Affective Domain involves feelings, values, and attitudes. It has five levels:

  1. Receiving: Being aware of or attentive to something (e.g., listening, noticing)
  2. Responding: Actively participating or reacting to a situation (e.g., answering, discussing)
  3. Valuing: Recognizing the worth or value of something (e.g., appreciating, respecting)
  4. Organizing: Integrating new values into one’s own value system (e.g., prioritizing, comparing)
  5. Characterizing: Acting consistently with new values (e.g., exemplifying, embodying)

Psychomotor Domain

The Psychomotor Domain involves physical movement, coordination, and the use of motor skills. It includes seven levels, which are less commonly used and not as consistently defined as the other domains:

  1. Perception: Using sensory cues to guide motor activity (e.g., detecting, choosing)
  2. Set: Readiness to act (e.g., showing, proceeding)
  3. Guided Response: Early stages of learning a complex skill (e.g., imitating, practicing)
  4. Mechanism: Intermediate stages of learning (e.g., manipulating, adjusting)
  5. Complex Overt Response: Skillful performance of motor acts (e.g., performing, mastering)
  6. Adaptation: Skills are well-developed and can be modified to fit new situations (e.g., adapting, modifying)
  7. Origination: Creating new movement patterns (e.g., designing, constructing)

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

In 2001, a group of cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists, instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists led by Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl updated the taxonomy to reflect a more dynamic conception of educational objectives. Key changes included:

  1. Terminology: Nouns were changed to verbs to reflect the nature of thinking as an active process (e.g., “Knowledge” became “Remembering”).
  2. Structure: The knowledge dimension was expanded to include four types (factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive).
  3. Order: “Synthesis” was renamed “Creating” and moved to the highest level of the hierarchy.

The Revised Cognitive Domain:

  1. Remembering
  2. Understanding
  3. Applying
  4. Analyzing
  5. Evaluating
  6. Creating

Bloom’s Taxonomy, in both its original and revised forms, continues to be a valuable framework for educators to design curriculum and assessments that promote higher-order thinking skills and deeper understanding of subject matter.