6. Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive domainBeginning in 1948, a group of educators undertook the task of classifying education goals and objectives with the intent to develop a classification system for three domains: the cognitive, the affective, and the psychomotor. Work on the cognitive domain was completed in the 1950s and is commonly referred to as Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain (Bloom, Englehart, Furst, Hill, & Krathwohl, 1956).
The idea is that what educators want students to learn can be arranged in a hierarchy from less to more complex.
They identified six levels as follows:
1. Knowledge: ability to remember previously learned material to enable recalling the appropriate information as required.
· Knowledge of specifics - terminology, specific facts
· Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics - conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
· Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field - principles and generalizations, theories and structures
Verbs: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state.
2. Comprehension: ability to understand facts and ideas demonstrated by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas.
Verbs: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate.
3. Application: ability to use learned material in new and concrete situations by applying rules, methods, concepts, principles, laws, and theories in different ways.
Verbs: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
4. Analysis: ability to break down material into its component parts to understand its organizational structure.
· identification of parts
· analysis of relationships between parts
· recognition of the organizational principles involved
This requires an understanding of both the content and the structural form of the material.
Verbs: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
5. Synthesis: ability to put parts together to form a new whole. This requires creative behavior, with emphasis on formulation of new patterns or structures.
Includes production of:
· a unique communication (theme or speech)
· a plan of operations (research proposal),
· a set of abstract relations (scheme for classifying information).
Verbs: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.
6. Evaluation: ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose and based on definite criteria. Criteria may be internal (organization) or external (relevance to the purpose). The student may be given the criteria or have to determine them.
Verbs: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.
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In 1956, Bloom et al formulated the taxonomy of the cognitive domain, with the aim of helping educators classify education goals and objectives. The taxonomy classifies the domain into six levels, Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and Evaluation. These are in increasing level of complexity with Knowledge being the simplest and Evaluation being the most complex. Also, the lower levels require lower order (concrete) thinking skills whereas higher levels require higher order (abstract) thinking skills.
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