Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bloom's Taxonomy: Cognitive Theory

KnowledgeWhat happens? This is the rote memorization, basic recall of information. Here a student learns some information (or recalls from prior knowledge) and can restate it exactly.
Synonyms (for Objectives): Recall, Identify, Examine, Define, List, Tell, Describe, Label, Match
Questions: Any question that has a yes/no, objective answer Example:
Who won the war of 1812?
What causes photosyntheis?
Is this a right triangle?
Activities: lecture, note-taking, textbook reading, filling out a graphic organizer ComprehensionWhat happens? The mind is able to take the information and summarize it. Thus, rather than simply being able to identify the definition of racism, a student could explain what racism is. This is the point where a student can transfer knowledge from one context to another.
Synonyms (for Objectives): Summarize, Interpret, Discuss, Explain, Estimate, Generalize
Questions: Questions which require the summary of information. Example:
What is another example of __________?
Can you put that in your own words?
Roughly speaking, what is ___________?
Who do you think ____________?
What was the main idea of ______________?
Activities: Write a summary, join a discussion, state in your own words, generate a group definition ApplicationWhat happens? A student at this point is able to take what has been learned and use it in another context. There is a greater sense of action here.
Synonyms (for Objectives): Demonstrate, Use, Solve
Questions- Example:
Given a case study, what would be the best _____?
Given an example, what would you ___________?
How would this apply to ______________?
What would have happened if _____________?
If you were in that situation, what would you have done?
Activities: service learning project, interactive activity, lab, critical thinking questions, case studiesAnalysis What happens? This is where a the mind separates out different ideas and “picks them apart.” Many people confuse this with synthesis, but analysis is not creating an organization, but rather using organization to separate out some other knowledge.
Synonyms (for Objectives): Differentiate, Categorize, Organize, Order, Classify, Arrange, Infer Compare, Contrast, Discriminate
Questions - Example:
What is the difference between _____________?
How is this different from _____________?
Which category would this fit best in?
How are these similar?
How could this be modified to be like that?
Activities: deconstruction paper, categorizing experiences, concept maps, Venn Diagram, SynthesisWhat happens? This is where the mind works like a web. Ideas connect and combine to create a new, coherent whole . This is also the creative, more intuitive aspect of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Here the mind works as a creative force to generate something new and different based on prior knowledge. Synonyms (for Objectives): Create, Generate, Combine, Integrate, Compose, Formulate, Plan, Design, Invent
Questions - Example:
What would happen if __________?
What would be the best solution for __________?
What would be a compromise for _______________
Activities: poster, play, poem, video, website, mural – anything that involves the creation of something newEvaluationWhat happens? The mind judges whether something is true, valid or accurate. There can even be a moral component to this. Synonyms (for Objectives): Judge, Defend, Rate, Predict, Assess, Test, DefendQuestions - Example:
What is the best?
What is the worst aspect of ______?
What is the top _________?
Why is this _________?
What do you believe about __________?
Activities: Socratic Seminar, debate, discussion,
Modifications of the Theory
Others have attempted to modify Bloom’s Taxonomy. The most common revision changes the terminology slightly, from adjectives to verbs. The idea is that, in learning, humans are doing rather than being. The mind is active at work. Personally, I doubt that people really needed to see “apply” instead of “application.” Besides, in describing levels of thinking, it is perfectly reasonable to use adjectives. More recently, data-driven theorist Marzano created a revision that changed the knowledge category, skipped application and split synthesis into generating and integrating. Marzano’s terminology was:

information gathering

Although Marzano’s theory was a genuine revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy, The benefit of this initital theory was that it viewed knowledge as an earlier process of investigation. Teachers have seen how a student failing to “focus” or “information gather” will struggle through the higher levels. The failture of his theory was that it left out application and viewed learning as too traditional. It assumed that prior knowledge was not a part of learning. Also, as Critical Pedagogy would point out, there is little application and action. In the end, the final revision read: knowledge, organizing, applying , analyzing, generating, integrating, and evaluating. Thus, it was basically the same as Bloom’s Taxonomy; which attests to the durability of Bloom’s theories

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