Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bloom’s Taxonomy

"Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence"
--- Abigail Adams, 1780

Benjamin S Bloom proposed taxonomy in 1956. He was an educational psychologist at the University of Chicago. Educators used it to define the learning objectives for students. In this article am only going to focus on the cognitive objective and not affective or psychomotor objectives of Bloom’s taxonomy.

Cognition means information processing. And taxonomy means a hierarchical structure.
This taxonomy is used to write learning objectives. There are six levels in the taxonomy, moving through the lower order objectives to the higher order objectives.

Let’s us take a look at the levels of the taxonomy.

Lower order processes or thinking does not mean that they are less important as compared to higher order processes but it means that learners must master lower level objectives first before they can build on them to reach higher level objectives.

Few years later Anderson revised Bloom’s taxonomy who was a former student of Benjamin Bloom.
If you notice the keywords used for the 6 levels of taxonomy are nouns. But in the revised version it is verb.
The reason being, that the taxonomy reflects different forms of thinking and thinking is an active process. Verbs describe actions, and not nouns, hence the taxonomy is revised.
Old v/s Revised

Need for Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s taxonomy is used for:
1) Writing learning objectives
2) Preparing the curriculum
3) Creating assessment questions.

We should always try and create assessment questions on the same level according to the level of learning objective used in the course.
Assessment questions should map to learning objectives. It ensures that we have covered every learning objective while assessing the learner.
Defining learning objective help define what the learner is going to learn at the end of the course.
Learning objective is created based on the knowledge level of the learners and what they need to know in the forthcoming course.

More to come....

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