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Taxonomy of Learning

The most popular educational taxonomy system is Bloom’s Taxonomy. A committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom, established Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956. The purpose of the Taxonomy was to improve communication and the design of curriculum. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a fundamental teaching practice that is taught in Teacher Education programs and used in almost all educational settings in the United States.

Blooms Taxonomy

Taxonomy of Learning

Bloom’s Taxonomy divides learning objectives in three different domains. These domains are:

  • Cognitive
  • Affective
  • Psychomotor

The goal of this educational taxonomy is to move from lower level learning to higher level learning through scaffolding instruction. Teachers structure their questions and lessons that start at the basic level and move to a more advanced, demanding level.

Cognitive Domain

In the cognitive domain, all questions and activities lead toward students gaining comprehension. The levels in the cognitive domain move from basic demands to more complex demands. These levels, from simple to more complex, are:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Comprehension
  3. Application
  4. Analysis
  5. Synthesis
  6. Evaluation

Most traditional educational classrooms focus most on the cognitive domain.

Affective Domain

In the affective domain, objectives are focused on emotions. The levels in the effective domain include:

  1. Receiving
  2. Responding
  3. Valuing
  4. Organizing
  5. Characterizing

Psychomotor Domain

In the psychomotor domain, objectives are focus on the learners’ ability to physically manipulate objects. Unlike the cognitive or affective domain, the Bloom’s committee did not create the levels in the psychomotor domain. These levels include:

  1. Perception
  2. Set
  3. Guided response
  4. Mechanism
  5. Complex overt response
  6. Adaption
  7. Organization

In the psychomotor domain, objectives are focus on the learners’ ability to physically manipulate objects. Unlike the cognitive or affective domain, the Bloom’s committee did not create the levels in the psychomotor domain. These levels include perception, set, guided response, mechanism, complex overt response, adaption, and organization.

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