Bloom’s Taxonomy

In 1956 Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed classification levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Bloom found that most of the questions used in the instructional setting required the students to use the lowest possible level which is the recall of information.

Benjamin Bloom identified six levels from the simple recall at the lowest level to the highest level, which is evaluation. The following is a listing of the levels and verb examples that goes with each one.

Knowledge is defined as the remembering of previously learned material. This may involve the recall of a wide range of material, from specific facts to complete theories, but all that is required is the bringing to mind of the appropriate information. Knowledge represents the lowest level of learning outcomes in the cognitive domain.

Bloom’s verbs for knowledge - arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state.

Comprehension is defined as the ability to grasp the meaning of material. This may be shown by translating material from one form to another (words to numbers), by interpreting material (explaining or summarizing), and by estimating future trends (predicting consequences or effects). These learning outcomes go one step beyond the simple remembering of material, and represent the lowest level of understanding.

Bloom’s verbs for comprehension - classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate,

Application refers to the ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations. This may include the application of such things as rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories. Learning outcomes in this area require a higher level of understanding than those under comprehension.

Bloom’s verbs for application - apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.

Analysis refers to the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. This may include the identification of parts, analysis of the relationship between parts, and recognition of the organizational principles involved. Learning outcomes here represent a higher intellectual level than comprehension and application because they require an understanding of both the content and the structural of the material.

Bloom’s verbs for analysis - analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.

Synthesis refers to the ability to put parts together to form a new whole. This may involve the production of a unique communication, a plan of operations (research proposal), or a set of abstract relations (scheme for classifying information). Learning outcomes in this area stress creative behaviors, with major emphasis on the formulation of new patterns or structure.

Bloom’s verbs for synthesis - arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.

Evaluation is concerned with the ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose. The judgments are to be based on definite criteria. These may be internal criteria (organization) or external criteria (relevance to the purpose) and the student may determine the criteria or be given them. Learning outcomes in this area are highest in the cognitive hierarchy because they contain elements of all the other categories, plus conscious value judgments based on clearly defined criteria.

Bloom’s verbs for evaluation - appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate

You need to ask a variety of questions during your instruction time. Research shows that teachers tend to ask a series of lower level questions during class time. There are times that lower level question would be appropriate like at the start of a unit or if children have a limited knowledge of the content. Using good questions will help your students express themselves verbally because they have to think about their answers not just recall some information and give a one word answer. One way to help students with learning is to use all the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.