-Taxonomy is orderly classification of items according to a systematic relationship (low to high, small to big, or simple to complex).

– The science or technique of classification

  • The Biography of Benyamin Samuel Bloom:
  • He was one of the greatest minds to influence the field of education.
  • He was born on February 21, 1913 in Lansford, Pennsylvania. As a young man, he was already an avid reader and curious researcher.
  • 1948: Benjamin Bloom and a group of psychologists studied classroom activities and goals teachers has while planning these activities.

Through this study three domains were concluded:

  • Cognitive Domain
  • Affective Domain
  • Psychomotor Domain
  • Cognitive Domain was split into a hierarchy of 6 thinking skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • 1956: Original Bloom’s Taxonomy is published

Benjamin Bloom led a committee of educational psychologists in colleges in 1956, developed a classification of intellectual objectives and skills essential to learning. These learning objectives, known as Bloom’s Taxonomy. Itwas also known as Bloom’s most recognized and highly regarded initial work spawned from his collaboration with his mentor and fellow examiner Ralph W. Tyler.

  • These ideas are highlighted in his third publication, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Handbook I, The Cognitive Domain. He later wrote a second handbook for the taxonomy in 1964, which focuses on the affective domain. Bloom’s research in early childhood education, published in his 1964 Stability and Change in Human Characteristics sparked widespread interest in children and learning and eventually and directly led to the formation of the Head Start program in America. In all, Bloom wrote or collaborated on eighteen publications from 1948-1993.
    • The Definition of BLOOM’S TAXONOMY:

Bloom’s Taxonomy is Level of Knowledge Acquisition
The Three Types of Learning:
There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom, identified THREE DOMAINS OF LEARNING/ EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES:

*Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)

*Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude)

*Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)

And As educators, the domain that the educators must focus on is COGNITIVE domain.

Components of the Taxonomy

Cognitive Processing Levels:







These tiers were used as building blocks to help teachers scaffold their lessons and build students up to the top tier of thinking.  For over 50 years, these objectives have been used to structure lessons, guide learning, and assess students’ performance. Just like the animal world has a hierarchy, so do the types of questions we ask children that affect their learning. However, current educational initiatives have prompted the revision of these objectives to include the use of technology for instruction.

  • Lorin W. Anderson is a Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he served on the faculty from August, 1973, until his retirement in August, 2006.
  • Research Interest

Investigating the quality of education provided for children of poverty throughout the world.

  • Positions

Executive Vice President, Anderson Research Group, Columbia, SC USA

  • PhD

Time and School Learning (University of Chicago, 1973)

  • Publications
    • During his career, Professor Anderson has authored or edited seventeen books and monographs.  He has contributed chapters to 18 edited books.  He is the author or co-author of 37 journal articles.  His most recognized work is A Taxonomy of Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which was published in 2001(NY: Longman). He served as the editor of the section on “Teaching and Teacher Education” for the International Encyclopedia of Education, 2nd Edition, which was published in 1995.  He served as the chairman of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Educational Research from 1995 – 2001.  He is member of the International Academy of Education.
    • Inquiry, Data, and Understanding: A Search for Meaning in Educational Research (Lisse, The Netherlands: Taylor and Francis, 2004)
    • Increasing Teacher Effectiveness, Second Edition
      (Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning, 2004)
    • Contact Information

University of South Carolina, Columbia
157 Gregg Parkway
Columbia, SC 29206

  • He holds : 1. a B. A. in mathematics from Macalester College,

2. an M. A. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota

  1. Ph. D. in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis from the University of Chicago, where he was a student of Benjamin S. Bloom.
  • At the University of South Carolina, he taught graduate courses in research design, classroom assessment, curriculum studies, and teacher effectiveness.  While on the faculty of the University he received awards for both teaching and research.
  • During his tenure, he served as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Newcastle (Australia), the College of Charleston (United States), and Francis Marion University (United States).

Bloom’s Timeline Continued

  • 1995: Lorin Anderson, a former student of Benjamin Bloom, led another team of psychologists in revising the original Bloom’s Taxonomy to represent the 21st century.
  • Changes occurred in terminology, structure, and emphasis. 2001: The final revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy was published
  • Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy has changed  and as a result, a number of changes were made
    • How to Use Higher Order Thinking Skills in the Classroom
    • Means of expressing qualitatively different kinds of thinking
    • Adapted for classroom use as a planning tool
    • Continues to be one of the most universally applied models
    • Provides a way to organize thinking skills into six levels, from the most basic to the higher order levels of thinking

Benjamin’s work (Bloom’s Taxonomy) helps us and gives educators powerful verbs …

-To Classify the verbs we use in the cognitive domain to promote higher order thinking skills in children.

-To Guide their lesson plans and shoot for higher order thinking skills for our students!!!


Bloom’s Taxonomy is a multi-tiered model of classifying thinking according to six cognitive levels of complexity, first published in 1956. Bloom’s six major categories were changed from noun to verb forms in 2001.

What’s the Difference?

Original Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Terminology: Used nouns to describe the levels of thinking.
  • Structure: One dimensional using the Cognitive Process.
  • Emphasis was originally for educators and psychologists. Bloom’s taxonomy was used by many other audiences.

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Terminology: Uses verbs to describe the levels of thinking.
  • Structure: Two dimensional using the Knowledge Dimension and how it interacts with the Cognitive Process. See next slide for an interactive grid.
  • Emphasis is placed upon its use as a more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment.

Change in Terms:

  • The names of six major categories were changed from noun to verb forms.
  • As the taxonomy reflects different forms of thinking and thinking is an active process verbs were more accurate.
  • The subcategories of the six major categories were also replaced by verbs
  • Some subcategories were reorganised.
  • The knowledge category was renamed. Knowledge is a product of thinking and was inappropriate to describe a category of thinking and was replaced with the word remembering instead.
  • Comprehension became understanding and synthesis was renamed creating in order to better reflect the nature of the thinking described by each category.

Structural changes

Structural changes seem dramatic at first, yet are quite logical when closely examined. Bloom’s original cognitive taxonomy was a one-dimensional form. With the addition of products, the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy takes the form of a two-dimensional table. One of the dimensions identifies The Knowledge Dimension (or the kind of knowledge to be learned) while the second identifies The Cognitive Process Dimension (or the process used to learn).  The Knowledge Dimension is composed of four levels that are defined as Factual, Conceptual, Procedural, and Meta-Cognitive. The Cognitive Process Dimension consists of six levels that are defined as Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create.

Change in Emphasis:

Emphasis is the third and final category of changes. As noted earlier, Bloom himself recognized that the taxonomy was being “unexpectedly” used by countless groups never considered an audience for the original publication. The revised version of the taxonomy is intended for a much broader audience. Emphasis is placed upon its use as a “more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment” (oz-TeacherNet, 2001).

  • More authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment.
  • Aimed at a broader audience.
  • Easily applied to all levels of schooling.
  • The revision emphasises explanation and description of subcategories.

The new terms (REVISED BLOOM’S TAXONOMY) are defined as:

  • Remembering: Retrieving, recognizing, and recalling relevant knowledge from long-term memory. Recalling information, Recognising, listing, describing, retrieving, naming, finding.
  • Understanding: Constructing meaning from oral, written, and graphic messages through interpreting, exemplifying, classifying, summarizing, inferring, comparing, explaining ideas or concepts, Interpreting, summarising, and paraphrasing.
  • Applying: Carrying out, executing or using a procedure through executing, or implementing. Using information in another familiar situation
  • Analyzing: Breaking material/ information into constituent parts, determining how the parts relate to one another, to explore understandings and relationships,
    and to an overall structure or purpose through differentiating, organizing, and attributing. Comparing, organising, deconstructing, interrogating, finding.
  • Evaluating: Making judgments based on criteria and standards through checking, hypothesising, experimenting, judging and critiquing. Justifying a decision or course of action
  • Creating: Putting elements together to form a coherent or functional whole; reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing. Generating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing things. Designing, constructing, planning, producing, inventing.

(Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001, pp. 67-68).

The figure below gives a comprehensive overview of the sub-categories, along with some suggested question starters that aim to evoke thinking specific to each level of the taxonomy.

REMEMBERINGž  Exhibit/show memory of previously learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers


Model questionsž  Who?

ž  Where?

ž  Which one?

ž  What?

ž  When?

ž  Who?

ž  How?

ž  (WH questions)


understandingž  Constructing meaning, Demonstrative understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, explaining, giving descriptions, and stating main ideas


Model questionsž  State in your own words.

ž  What does this mean?

ž  Which are facts?

ž  Is this the same as …?

ž  Explain what is meant by … ?


APPLYINGž  Using new knowledge, Solve problems to new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way


MODEL QUESTIONSž  Predict what would happened if … .

ž  Tell how … .

ž  Tell how much change there would be … .

ž  What would result … .

ž  Etc.


The verbs in taxonomy provide categories of thinking skills that help educators formulate questions in language testing. The taxonomy begins with the lowest level thinking skill and moves to the highest level of thinking skill.

From the verbs which represent remembering, understanding and applying we can make a language testing using those verbs to grade the level of difficulty.

It is also intended to provide for classification of the goals of our educational system.

It helps to gain perspective on the emphasis given to certain behaviours by a particular set of educational plans.

A teacher in class, in classifying the goals of teaching unit, may find that they all fall within the taxonomy category of recalling or remembering knowledge. Looking at the taxonomy categories  may suggest to him that, for example, he could include some goals dealing with the application of this knowledge and with the analysis of the situations in which the knowledge is used.


The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She  went for a walk in the forest.  Pretty soon, she came upon a house.  She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry.  She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.

“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.

So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.

“This porridge is too cold,” she said

So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.

“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.

After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired.  So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs.  Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.

“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.

So she sat in the second chair.

“This chair is too big, too!”  she whined.

So she tried the last and smallest chair.

“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed.  But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom.  She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right.  Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.

“Someone’s been sitting in my chair and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too” said the Mama bear

“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears.  She screamed, “Help!”  And she jumped up and ran out of the room.  Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest.  And she never returned to the home of the three bears.

Language Testing for Goldiloks Story


1.  Name all the characters in the  story.

2.  What happened at the end of  the story?


3.  Summarize what the Goldilocks  story was about

4.  Why did Goldilocks like the  little bear’ s chair best?


5.  Construct a theory as to why  Goldilock went into the house

6.  If Goldilocks had come into  your house, what are some of the things she might have used?






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