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Bloom's Taxonomy - What is the Bloom Taxonomy?


Updated June 26, 2014

Boy and girl are reading a book together.
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Definition: The Bloom taxonomy is a classification system developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom that describes various stages or levels in the process of learning new information. Bloom conducted a study of instruction and assessment practices. The study found that nearly all traditional instruction methods taught students at a simple recall and recognition level. Wrote learning was the dominant teaching model. Bloom and his researchers wanted to increase the rigor of instruction and challenge learners to reach higher thought processes in learning. Bloom's taxonomy included six levels of understanding:
  • Knowledge - The basic awareness level of knowing;
  • Comprehension - The emergence of understanding;
  • Application - The ability to use knowledge and understanding to perform tasks;
  • Analysis - The ability to think about information in a critical way with comparison, contrast, and categorization; and
  • Evaluation - The ability to objectively assess information and determine its strengths, limitations, and potential improvements.
Also Known As: levels of knowledge, cognitive skills
Many teachers use the Bloom taxonomy to evaluate students' level of understanding.

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