Bloom's Taxonomy

Author: Samuel Williams When: Tuesday, 25 May 2010
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited" — Plutarch

Bloom's Taxonomy was developed in the 1950s by Benjamin Bloom. It has been revised many times by different people. However, it fundamentally remains the same.

Bloom's Taxonomy is a set of words which describes both higher-order and lower-order thinking processes. It allows us to discuss teaching issues and gives us a foundation for creating teaching material as well as reviewing teaching processes.

Here is a list of terminology, from low-order thinking to high-order thinking:

Knowledge
Select, List, Name, Define, Describe, Memorize, Label, Identify, Locate, Recite, State, Recognize
Comprehension
Match, Restate, Paraphrase, Rewrite, Give examples, Express, Illustrate, Explain, Defend, Distinguish, Summarize, Interrelate, Interpret, Extend
Application
Organize, Generalize, Dramatize, Prepare, Produce, Choose, Sketch, Apply, Solve, Draw, Show, Paint
Analysis
Compare, Analyze, Classify, Point out, Distinguish, Categorize, Differentiate, Subdivide, Infer, Survey, Select, Prioritize
Synthesis
Compose, Originate, Hypothesize, Develop, Design, Combine, Construct, Produce, Plan, Create, Invent, Organize
Evaluation
Judge, Relate, Weight, Criticize, Support, Evaluate, Consider, Critique, Recommend, Summarize, Appraise, Compare

Bloom's taxonomy allows for lesson plans to be created that are suitable for all types of students. Students can start of with tasks that require only lower-order thinking, but progress to higher-order thinking as they are able to. As an example, The Halting Problem has a set of questions which follows this sequence.

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