Friday, May 24, 2013

Bloom's Taxonomy: Conceptual Learning and Questioning

Categories in the cognitive domain of Bloom's ...
Cognitive domain of Bloom's Taxonomy (Wikipedia)
by Dr. Genola Johnson

Benjamin Bloom's Levels of Taxonomy was created for educators to plan effective instruction.

Using the levels during lesson planning and creating assessments assists the teacher in reaching all modalities of learning.

Using Bloom's Taxonomy's helped me understand how thinking was classified.

There were certain areas I wanted to reach when teaching a concept and the classifications or taxonomy helped direct my questioning techniques.

To direct the questioning of my lessons, I created questions from the verbs in the taxonomy classifications. If I wanted high, complex questioning I would use words from the analysis, synthesis and evaluation areas.

I always wanted my students to think deeper, use problem solving skills, discuss with peers and seek further information on the concept to be learned.

In my opinion, the foundational idea would be for students to learn a concept using Bloom Taxonomy's and transfer that knowledge to other concepts.

- Understand - Explain ideas/concepts
- Remember - Recall information
- Analysis - Break down into parts
- Evaluation - Justify thinking
- Create - New ways, ideas, products of thinking

When creating lesson plans, I would often have the taxonomy close by to ensure I am reaching all levels. Using the assigned curriculum, I would develop my lesson objectives, identify the skills the student needed to learn, and align my objective to the assessment.

All of my lessons contained critical thinking questioning. Sometimes I would build from the knowledge level with questions that were just recall.

For example, list the steps in the writing process. If the student can identify the steps, they can begin the process of designing a writing piece.

Today, students need to be able to understand why the need to know a concept.

Having the factual knowledge of 2 x 2=4 is essential when you need to import this factual knowledge into an algebraic or geometrical formula when calculating the area of land to build a greenhouse to build a neighborhood garden.

I would often say, "You need to know this information, in order to create or develop, this product." Letting the students know where they are going is essential in getting them to learn the curriculum you are to teach.

Teaching synthesis (creating and evaluating) after teaching the knowledge and comprehension of a concept helps the student put the recall and understanding into a whole part. Students should be able to develop or create something new with the new information they have been taught.

Using the Bloom's Taxonomy to develop your lessons, questioning and assessments helps students and the teacher focus on deeper conceptual learning.

Dr. Genola Johnson has been an educator for 21 years. She uses Bloom's Taxonomy during lesson planning and assessments. For more information about Dr. Genola Johnson, and a list of the Bloom's Taxonomy List of Verbs, visit

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