Alan Bloom’s taxonomy (1956) is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition (thinking, learning, understanding). Teachers use Bloom’s taxonomy to guide assessments, curriculum, and instructional methods.
- Knowledge: Learner’s ability to recall information
- Comprehension: Learner’s ability to understand information
- Application: Learner’s ability to use information in a new way
- Analysis: Learner’s ability to break down information into its essential parts
- Synthesis: Learner’s ability to create something new from different elements of information
- Evaluation: Learner’s ability to judge or criticize information
Alan Bloom’s classic 1956 learning taxonomy was revised and refined by Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl in 2000.
- Remember: Learner’s ability to recall information
- Understand: Learner’s ability to understand information
- Apply: Learner’s ability to use information in a new way
- Analyze: Learner’s ability to break down information into its essential parts
- Evaluate: Learner’s ability to judge or criticize information
- Create/Design: Learner’s ability to create something new from different elements of information
Theses updates reflect of a more active thought process and include three main changes:
- Category names were revised from nouns to verbs.
- The last two stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy were switched so that evaluation (evaluating) comes before synthesis (creating).
- The knowledge (remembering) category was updated to reflect four knowledge dimensions instead of three.
More specific to foreign language learning it is important to recognize that these skills are not a hierarchy, but are interrelated and dependent on each other to function most efficiently and effectively. Language creation is dependent on understanding, analyzing, evaluating and applying knowledge.
- Remember: Can the student recall or remember the information?
- Understand: Can the student explain ideas or concepts?
- Apply: Can the student use the information in a new way?
- Analyze: Can the student distinguish between the different parts?
- Evaluate: Can the student justify a stand or decision?
- Create/Design: Can the student create or design a new product or point of view?
Download a pdf with a list of over 60 verbs to use when creating tasks, activities & assessments in the world language classroom using the updated Bloom’s taxonomy.
Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl : A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York : Longman, ©2001.