Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for their students (learning objectives). The taxonomy was proposed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom, an educational psychologist at the University of Chicago. The terminology has been recently updated to include the following six levels of learning. These 6 levels can be used to structure the learning objectives, lessons, and assessments of your course.

  • Remembering: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long‐term memory.
  • Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, and explaining.
  • Applying: Carrying out or using a procedure for executing, or implementing.
  • Analyzing: Breaking material into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing.
  • Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking and critiquing.
  • Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing

Elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing. Like other taxonomies, Bloom’s is hierarchical, meaning that learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels. You will see Bloom’s Taxonomy often displayed as a pyramid graphic to help demonstrate this hierarchy. We have updated this pyramid into a “cake-style” hierarchy to emphasize that each level is built on a foundation of the previous levels.

For decades, education reform has been focused on curriculum, assessment, instruction, and more recently standards, and data, with these efforts only bleeding over into how students think briefly, and by chance. This means that the focus of finite teacher and school resources are not on promoting thinking and understanding, but rather what kinds of things students are going to be thinking about and how they’ll prove they understand them.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be a powerful tool to transform teaching and learning. By design, it focuses attention away from content and instruction, and instead emphasizes the ‘cognitive events’ in the mind of a person.

Bloom's Taxonomy is a set of three hierarchical models used to classify educational learning objectives into levels of complexity and specificity. The three lists cover the learning objectives in cognitive, affective and sensory domains.

Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses".

Affective relates to moods, feelings and attitudes

Sensory domains aptly discover, define, and apply targeted knowledge.

Meaning of Taxonomy (In biology, taxonomy (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis), meaning 'arrangement', and -νομία (- nomia), meaning 'method') is the science of naming, defining (circumscribing) and classifying groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics)