Theorist: Benjamin Bloom

Bloom's Taxonomy-Cognitive Domain
Bloom's Taxonomy- Web 2.0

Theory: Cognitivism

Timeline: 1913-1999


Benjamin Bloom was an American educational psychologist. He was interested in the development of human thinking. In 1956, Bloom and some of his colleagues developed a taxonomy, or system of classsification to help classify the goals of education.
The taxonomy has three domains.
  • cognitive domain- intellect (this is the one that most teachers, trainers, etc. use)
  • affective domain- feelings and emotions
  • psychomotor domain- physical skills
The cognitive domain consists of six levels of intellectual behavoirs:
  • knowledge- remembering basic information
  • comprehension-understanding the basic information
  • application-using information in a concrete way to solve a task
  • analysis-breaking out the information, sorting out facts
  • synthesis-putting the information in new ways
  • evaluation-judging content based on standards
These levels progress from simplest -knowledge to the hardest-evaluation. Teachers and instructional designers use this tool to plan objectives and assessment to help learners move from using lower level thinking skills to higher level thinking skills.

Major Works:

Bloom, B. S. (1980). All Our Children Learning. New York,McGraw-Hill
Bloom, B. S. (1985). Developing Talent in Young People. New York: Ballentine Books.
Bloom, B.S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain,
New York, Addison-Wesley

Relevant Links:'s%20cognitive%20domain

Application to Learning Transfer:
Using activities that correspond to the higher levels in Bloom's Taxonomy will increase understanding and help create change in practice. For example, asking learners to role play can help them to demonstrate their understanding of new skills at the application level. At the fourth level, learners are asked to analyze a situation and develop a solution based on their analysis. Activities that require students to create an original way to solve a problem asks them to operate at the synthesis level. At the highest level, evaluation, learners look at several options to a problem and judge which one will work best based on the given scenario. Classroom activities that are based on Bloom's Taxonomy ensure that participants will be able to apply new skills and knowledge back in the workplace.