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Creativity or Synthesis? Bloom Revisited

In 2001, the revised Bloom's Taxonomy was published by Krathwohl and Anderson. Lorin Anderson was once a student of the famed Benjamin Bloom, and David Krathwohl was one of Bloom’s partners as he devised his classic cognitive taxonomy. They called together a group of educational psychologists and educators to help with the revisions.

Teaching and Assessing: a Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification system developed in 1956 by education psychologist Benjamin Bloom to categorize intellectual skills and behavior important to learning. Bloom identified six cognitive levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, with sophistication growing from basic knowledge-recall skills to the highest level, evaluation.

Some Problems with the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy

In reading and researching about Bloom's taxonomy in print and on the web though, the majority of the discussion is about the types of student activities, and to me it seemed that they had lost the point that this was about having a clear description of objective assessment. In fact, proliferation of other models and descriptive terms made it difficult to actually identify activities and work products as being representative of a given level. If that was the case, then how can any classroom teacher effectively and efficiently use the system?

Bloom, Benjamin S., e. (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. By a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain, New York, David McKay Co Inc.

Bloom's Revised Digital Taxonomy

There is perhaps more opportunity for this within one particular organisation, but even then I would proceed with caution. Different environments within the same company may demand different things from managers – even those that are classed as operating at the same level. Perhaps it really depends on what learning you are talking about – in your ‘team building’ example, it may well be that an organisation has pre-defined competencies that it would expect to see at different management grades, irrespective of the area of the business. In this case you may be able to make some common assumptions regarding the Blooms level that you should reach for each of those grades. However, if the learning is more specific to individual environments then this is going to be tricky (and potentially unwise).

What we're talking about is assessment. and in fact, Bloom's Taxonomy was originally created as a classification system for the of different categories of learning. It's worth repeating that: the taxonomy was designed to assist assessment, and from that to guide the design of lessons that are more effective in pedagogy in light of how they will be assessed.

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Forehand, M. 2005. Bloom’s Taxonomy: Original and revised.

Also, Revised Bloom's uses verbs; original Bloom's uses nouns. People liked the idea of verbs being an action, but the problem is that a verb requires a measurement of its degree of action. A noun for the most part either "is" or "isn't". From a practical standpoint, it's easier to observe something that either "is" or "isn't" in a classroom activity than trying to define an accurate and repeatable measurement system for the verbs that we see on many of the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy charts.

Four Simple Tests for Four Categories of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Have you used Blooms Taxonomy of Learning Domains? Does this simple explanation make any sense? Any views would be very welcome in the comments section below.

Bloom’s Taxonomy | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt …

Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used to facilitate an awareness of how to measure higher level thinking skills. As instructors, we are having to constantly evaluate how well our student is progressing to determine when it is time to move on or when reinforcement is required. Whether it is a fellow instructor preparing for an exam, a student wanting to explore more of the mountain environment, a participant in a specialist program trying to master the theory content or yourself determining if you are ready for your next level of adventure, utilizing the taxonomy is an efficient and proven method to determine proficiencies.

Home » All CFT Teaching Guides » Bloom’s Taxonomy

Neither am I suggesting that this model should only be used in isolation. Developing an understanding of what we can take from this model, along with for example the Kirkpatrick levels of evaluation will help us design learning and evaluation strategies tailored to our own particular business needs. In my opinion, there is a connection between Blooms Taxonomy and Kirkpatrick levels 2 and 3. It is possible that the Blooms model might offer some suggestions of how you can gather evidence to demonstrate that learning () has occurred in the training environment and how this might be judged to have been transferred (or otherwise) into behaviour () in the workplace.

Bloom's Taxonomy | Bloom's Taxonomy | Education

Looking at the original Bloom, "synthesis" seems to me to be a more fitting aspiration, and certainly a word with richer sub-meanings than "create".

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