Resource 1.1 - Revised Bloom's Taxonomy
Benjamin Bloom created the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in the 1950's as a means of expressing qualitatively different kinds of thinking. Bloom's Taxonomy has since been adapted for classroom use as a planning tool and continues to be one of the most universally applied models across all levels of schooling and in all areas of study.
The Revised Bloom's Taxonomy
During the 1990s, Lorin Anderson (a former student of Benjamin Bloom) led a team of cognitive psychologists in revisiting the taxonomy to examine the relevance of the taxonomy as we enter the 21st century.
As a result of the investigation, a number of significant improvements were made to the existing structure. Before turning to examples of how the newly revised Taxonomy may be applied, it would be appropriate at this point to make both the revisions and reasons for the changes explicit. Figure1.1 below describes both the "old" and the "new" taxonomies:
Recognize, list, describe, identify retrieve, name ….
Can the student RECALL information?
Interpret, exemplify, summarize, infer, paraphrase ….
Can the student EXPLAINideas or concepts?
Implement, carry out, use …
Can the student USE the new knowledge in another familiar situation?
Compare, attribute, organize, deconstruct …
Can the student DIFFERENTIATE between constituent parts?
Check, critique, judge hypothesize ...
Can the student JUSTIFY a decision or course of action?
Design, construct, plan, produce ...
Can the student GENERATE new products, ideas or ways of viewing things ?
Figure 1.1 - The Original Taxonomy and the Revised Taxonomy
|Bloom's Original Taxonomy ||Anderson's Revised Taxonomy|
Some of the more significant changes include changes in terminology, structure and emphasis all of which are summarized below.
Changes in Terminology
- As depicted in the previous table, the names of six major categories were changed from noun to verb forms. The reasoning behind this is that the taxonomy reflects different forms of thinking and thinking and is an active process. Verbs describe actions, not nouns, hence the change.
- The subcategories of the six major categories were also replaced by verbs, and some subcategories were reorganized.
- The knowledge category was renamed. Knowledge is an outcome or product of thinking, not a form of thinking per se. Consequently, the word knowledge was inappropriate to describe a category of thinking and was replaced with the word remembering.
- Comprehension and synthesis were retitled understanding and creating, respectively, to better reflect the nature of the thinking defined in each category.
Changes in Structure
- The one-dimensional form of the original taxonomy becomes a two-dimensional table with the addition of the products of thinking (i.e., various forms of knowledge). Forms of knowledge are listed in the revised taxonomy as factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive.
- The major categories were ordered in terms of increased complexity. As a result, the order of synthesis (create) and evaluation (evaluate) have been interchanged. This was done in deference to the popularly held notion that if one considers the taxonomy as a hierarchy reflecting increasing complexity, then creative thinking (i.e., creating level of the revised taxonomy) is a more complex form of thinking than is critical thinking (i.e., evaluating level of the new taxonomy).
Put quite simply, one can be critical without being creative (i.e., judge an idea and justify choices), but creative production often requires critical thinking (i.e., accepting and rejecting ideas on the path to creating a new idea, product, or way of looking at things).
Changes in emphasis
- The revision's primary focus is on the taxonomy in use. Essentially, this means that the revised taxonomy is a more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery, and assessment.
- The revision is aimed at a broader audience. Bloom's Taxonomy was traditionally viewed as a tool best applied in the earlier years of schooling (i.e., primary and junior primary years). The revised taxonomy is more universal and easily applicable at elementary, secondary, and even tertiary levels.
- The revision emphasizes explanation and description of subcategories.
For example, subcategories at the Remembering level of the taxonomy include:
- Recognizing/Identifying—Locating knowledge in memory that is consistent with presented material.
- Recalling/Retrieving/Naming—Retrieving relevant knowledge from long-term memory
The table below gives a comprehensive overview of the subcategories, along with some suggested question starters that seek to elicit thinking specific to each level of the taxonomy. Suggested potential activities and student products are also listed.
Locating knowledge in memory that is consistent with presented material.
Retrieving relevant knowledge from long-term memory.
Synonyms : Retrieving... Naming...
Changing from one form of representation to another
Synonyms : Paraphrasing… Translating,...Representing,… Clarifying...
Finding a specific example or illustration of a concept or principle
Synonyms : Instantiating… Illustrating...
Determining that something belongs to a category (e.g., concept or principle).
Synonyms : Categorizing...Subsuming...
Drawing a logical conclusion from presented information.
Synonyms : Abstracting… Generalizing...
Abstracting a general theme or major point
Synonyms : Extrapolating… Interpolating.. Predicting… Concluding….
Detecting correspondences between two ideas, objects, etc
Synonyms : Contrasting… Matching ...Mapping...
Constructing a cause-and-effect model of a system.
Synonyms : Constructing models...
Applying knowledge (often procedural) to a routine task.
Synonyms : Carrying out…
Applying knowledge (often procedural) to a non-routine task.
Synonyms : Using…
Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant parts or important from unimportant parts of presented material.
Synonyms : Discriminating, Selecting, Focusing, Distinguishing,<;/p>
Determining how elements fit or function within a structure.
Synonyms : Outlining, Structuring, Integrating, Finding coherence
Determining the point of view, bias, values, or intent underlying presented material.
Synonyms : Deconstructing
Detecting inconsistencies or fallacies within a process or product.Determining whether a process or product has internal consistency.
Synonyms : Testing, Detecting, Monitoring
Detecting the appropriateness of a procedure for a given task or problem.
Synonyms : Judging
Coming up with alternatives or hypotheses based on criteria
Synonyms : Hypothesizing
Devising a procedure for accomplishing some task. producing
Synonyms : Designing
Inventing a product.
Synonyms : Constructing