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Taxonomy: A taxonomy is a way of classifying
things. Bloom’s taxonomy is one man’s way of classifying educational
objectives. As you read, you will see that Bloom has classified these
objectives into three domains:
Within each domain, he lists different ‘levels’
of objectives. The article may give you the impression that one level
is more advanced than another, and that learners cannot achieve the
higher level is they have not achieved the ‘lower’ levels. This is
not the case! This system of levels is useful as a taxonomy. However,
real people in real situations do not fit neatly into levels of categorization.
For example, although KNOWLEDGE is the first level, certain knowledge
is very difficult. SYNTHESIS (creating something new) can be very
difficult when working with ideas and theories, but quite simple when
doing something practical, for example, putting together a healthy
menu using information about food groups.
- Cognitive (thinking skills)
- Affective (values and emotions)
- Psychomotor (movement skills)
As you read these categorizations, use the information
to guide your thinking about assessment, and the different things
that you can assess.
is recognised as the leader in the pursuit
of defining educational objectives early this century. Developing
a classification system (a taxonomy) of educational objectives,
Bloom divided his findings into three domains;
listed six basic objectives within the COGNITIVE
- remembering or recognising something
previously encountered without necessarily understanding, using,
or changing it.
- understanding the material being communicated
without necessarily relating it to anything else.
- using general concept
to solve a particular problem.
- breaking something down into parts.
- creating something new by combining different
- judging the value of materials or methods
as they might be applied in a particular situation.
Bloom listed five basic
objectives in the AFFECTIVE domain:
- being aware of or attending to something
in the environment.
- showing some new behaviour as a result
- showing some definite involvement or
- integrating a new value into one's general
set of values, giving it some ranking among one's general priorities.
by value - acting consistently
with the new value.
Bloom listed six basic
objectives in the PSYCHOMOTOR domain:
movements - actions that
occur involuntarily in response to some stimulus.
fundamental movements -
innate movement patterns formed from a combination of reflex movements.
abilities - translation
of stimuli received through the senses into appropriate movements.
abilities - basic movements
and abilities that are essential to the development of more highly
movements - more complex
movements requiring a certain degree of efficiency.
movements - ability to
communicate through body movement.
The above information is taken
Woolfolk, A.E. Educational Psychology
(New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall, 1990)
is an example of how Bloom's Taxonomy may be implemented into a
working curriculum unit - (in this instance a"Science"
unit) Taken from Joseph, J. and
Brown, K Authentic Assessment Workshop 1998
Theme - Ecology systems (Ecosystems)
- define, identify, list, locate, recall
is an ecosystem?
an ecosystem and list the varieties that are found in South
- compare, summarise, explain, convert
the different parts of the ecosystem and explain what they do.
a marine ecosystem with one from another area of our state.
- apply, calculate,
a diagram, show how the water cycle operates in an ecosystem.
what happens when humans interfere with the water cycle.
- analyse, contrast, deduce,
differentiate, distinguish, infer
the natural water cycle with that used by our community
an ecosystem that has been damaged by human interference. How
could the problems have been avoided?
- compose, create, design, formulate, produce, rearrange
an unspoilt ecosystem and design a way of preserving it.
would preserving our local ecosystems enhance our environment?
- appraise, assess, critique,
Is it reasonable that people pollute our
waterways? Defend your answer.
Assess the impact of pollution in our
Bloom's taxonomy to special needs
- Using the six levels
of Bloom's taxonomy to plan questions and activities provides
the scope for student negotiation and the opportunity to differentiate
the curriculum for some students in accordance with their interests,
abilities and specific learning needs.
Applying Bloom's taxonomy is a WHOLE class exercise and is inclusive
of both mainstream and special need children.
Teachers choosing to use the taxonomy in this way may structure
learning experiences so that :-
All students work through the knowledge and comprehension stage,
then select one activity from each of the other levels.
- All students work through
the knowledge and comprehension stage and then select activities
from any other levels.
- Some work through the
knowledge and comprehension stage and others work at higher levels.
This is particularly relevant for gifted and talented children.
All students work from any level - some activities are tagged
as essential - some as optional.
- Select a thinking process
as a focus - e.g. Analysis (where instruction is being provided
in that process) Some work through knowledge and comprehension
stage, then write down their own activity at their own preferred
level. Students write their own activity/questions from the taxonomy.
- Engaging the students
in this activity serves as a useful lead-in to the negotiated
student project to follow.
using Bloom's taxonomy
a. Use: records, films, videos, models, events, media,
b. observed behaviour: ask match, discover, locate,
a. Use: trends, consequences, tables, cartoons....
b. observed behaviour: chart, associate, contrast, interpret,
Application (making use of the knowledge)
a. use: collection, diary, photographs, sculpture, stichery,
b. observed behaviour: list, construct, teach, paint,
Analysis questions (taking apart the known)
a. use: graph, survey, diagram, chart, questionnaire,
b. observed behaviour: classify, categorise, dissect,
Synthesis (putting things together in another way)
a. Use: article, radio show, video, puppet show, inventions,
poetry, short story...
b. observed behaviour: combine, invent, compose, hypothesis,
create, produce, write.
Evaluation (judging outcomes)
a. Use: letters, group with discussion panel, court
trial, survey, self-evaluation, value, allusions...
b. observed behaviour: judge, debate, evaluating, editorialise,
However, since 1998/99, Bloom's
taxonomy has been officially revised and now we have...
The new-look taxonomy,
although very similar, also has some very distinctive changes.
Look at the table below and you will see that most of the definitions
have changed from nouns to verbs, and furthermore, they have been
usurped by more user-friendly terms which can be understood by not
only teachers, but indeed, students as well.
Recalling the information
Explain the ideas and/or concepts
Using the newly acquired
knowledge in another familiar situation
Comparing and differentiating between constituent parts.
Justifying a decision or
course of action
Generating new new ways
of creating products, ideas or ways of viewing things
Note that in addition
to the actual title changes, there is also a shift in the Taxonomy
order, with Synthesis
Create) now becoming
the last component of the Taxonomy.
Because it is now suggested that it is more appropriate to
Evaluate first, and
then, based upon that evaluation, go the next step and
(This new information is adapted
from an article by M. Pohl - 1999)
Revised Bloom in practice
Below is an example of how Bloom's taxonomy,
in it's revised format, can be used in the classroom.
I will actually be using this myself during my final practicum
and each section of Bloom's taxonomy will be listed on a separate
poster, displayed in the classroom, that will detail the two learning
foci, namely - Food Advertising and Nutrition
This is part of an eight-week unit in the key learning of the
Arts, that will focus mainly on the Media influence on our eating
and dietary habits.
Students will be choosing activities from the posters as part
of a point system they need to fulfil in this unit.
thinking tasks, (that is, Remember,
Understand, and Apply)
will earn 1, 2 and 3 points respectively, while the high-order
thinking tasks will earn 5 for Analyse
and 6 for
(Factual answers, recall and
10 advertisements that use women's bodies to sell their
what the advertisers use in the Hungry Jacks advertisement
to sell their products.
Name 10 food advertisements that make
junk food look like it is healthy and good food.
the food groups and at least two items of food in each group
List 12 items
that would go in the Bread group.
Make an acrostic poem about healthy
why advertisements use music to sell their food products
Outline in your own words how
the Leggo's Tomato Paste advertisement sells their product.
What was the main idea behind the Magnum
out ten healthy items from food packages or magazines and
paste them under a heading of healthy foods in your Media
simple menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner using the food
Make a healthy food colouring book suitable
for 5 year old children
(Using information gained in different,
factors would you change if you had to redo the Campbell's
a script for Uncle Toby's Muesli Bars using a completely
What 6 questions would you ask if you
had to interview the advertisers of Milo about their product?
The questions need to find out information for your school
and whether or not the product is suitable for the canteen.
some photos which would best describe how you feel because
of what you eat.
a one page example of how you would teach about the new
food guide. Include your resources.
What would you ask shoppers in a supermarket
if you were doing a survey of what food they eat? (10
(Break into parts to examine
two dog food commercials. What is the difference between
them and how do they both sell their products?
Write a new commercial for Mars
Bar that tells only the truth but will still sell them
Design a questionnaire about coffee
or tea that you can ask of ten people for a report to
give to your advertiser so that they can then decide how
to sell their product.
a questionnaire that would gather enough information to
know how to stock the canteen with a wide variety of healthy
biography about an important person in the food industry.
Prepare a report about what the people
in this class eat for breakfast
(Judge, use criteria, rank and
you think it is a good or bad thing that advertising uses
women's bodies to sell products? Why?
How would you handle it if you had made
the Magnum ice-cream advertisement and you received many
complaints from the public?
Write a letter to Hungry Jacks explaining
why you think their advertising is false and misleading.
a booklet about 10 important eating habits that would be
suitable for the whole school to follow in order to eat
a debate with two teams of 3 in each team about why advertising
is wrong to use women's bodies to sell its products.
Write a letter to Sanitarium asking
if they would be able to help you with some research into
how they make Weetbix, how many they sell and one other
(Combining information to new
situations to create new products, ideas, etc.)
a new food product, Give it a name and detail how you will
a 30 second radio advertisement about a new food product
you have made.
Construct a poster that will advertise
your new food product in an exciting and irresistible
a healthy menu that you think most people would enjoy using
the healthy eating guide.
a song and dance to sell bananas.
Design a canteen of the future
that will only sell /serve healthy foods. What sort of
signs and logos would it use?