Changes To Bloom’s Taxonomy

As we’ve established, Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical ordering of cognitive skills that can, among countless other uses, help teachers teach and students learn.

Implied in the creation of any taxonomy is an ongoing scrutiny of the principles underlying any such classifications. This means that a taxonomy itself is an idea and ideas change–and that means that taxonomies should change if our thinking about those ideas changes, too.

Bloom’s Taxonomy was created by Benjamin Bloom in 1956, published as a kind of classification of learning outcomes and objectives that have, in the more than half-century since, been used for everything from framing digital tasks and evaluating apps to writing questions and assessments.

The original sequence of cognitive skills was Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The framework was revised in 2001 by Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl, yielding the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

The most significant change was the removal of ‘Synthesis’ and the addition of ‘Creation’ as the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. And being at the highest level, the implication is that it’s the most complex or demanding cognitive skill–or at least represents a kind of pinnacle for cognitive tasks.

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