Bloom’s taxonomy


Within the educational area, the pedagogue Benjamin Bloom, in 1956, exposes the theory of thinking skills, which was entitled Bloom’s taxonomy. It describes the difficulties that the mind faces for a perfect and integral learning when going through several phases. That is why it organizes teaching at cognitive levels, from the simplest to the most complex.


What is Bloom’s taxonomy?

Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification of educational objectives very handled in the school environment. Many teachers consider it ideal to assess the cognitive degree acquired by their students. It is based on three areas of evaluation: Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor. Its creator numbers and prescribes teaching in order to simplify the work of educators when planning.


Bloom’s taxonomy features

Bloom’s taxonomy is characterized by:

  • It constitutes an elaborate resource for the ordering of the objectives in educational propositions.
  • It states that learning is carried out at three levels: cognitive, affective and psychomotor.
  • It proposes a succession of levels to guarantee the teacher a meaningful and lasting teaching . The levels are: Remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create.
  • The classified groups or taxa are structured hierarchically. Each includes subgroups that are fixed and dependent on an ancestor set. Thus, a higher group cannot be achieved without achieving the lower one in advance.
  • It highlights that, in order to do an excellent planning, it is mandatory to take into account the following: Be clear about the instructional area, accurately outline the objectives, use appropriate evaluation tools and establish the tasks to be carried out

What is it for?

It is quite useful and valid for setting learning goals for learners and forging the teaching-learning process. It aspires that the knowledge acquired by the students allows them to develop useful qualities to solve complications and create new knowledge.

For this reason, any method supported by Bloom’s taxonomy does not simply seek to memorize or understand the content.


The taxonomy exhibits three dimensions called: Cognitive dimension, Affective dimension and Psychomotor dimension.

  • Cognitive dimension: Represents the ability to focus on events. The powers at this level have varied slightly since the appearance of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Affective dimension: It takes into account the preparation used to understand one’s own emotions and those of others. It is related to skills such as empathy, emotional management and the exchange of feelings.
  • Psychomotor dimension: The skill in physically maneuvering tools is studied. For this reason, the psychomotor objectives are related to the learning of new practices.


Each dimension mentioned above sets a succession of levels, which increase in complexity.

  • Cognitive dimension: Here reference is made to the intellectual area of ​​the students. It develops six levels to consider: Knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
  • Affective dimension: There are 5 levels in this domain, valued from the simple to the most complicated: Reception, response, assessment, organization and characterization.
  • Psychomotor dimension: Although Bloom did not create levels for this psychomotor domain. Another author divided them into: Perception, disposition, supervised and complex answer, mechanism, adaptation and creation.

Objectives of Bloom’s taxonomy

Bloom’s taxonomy was initially created to outline specific useful purposes to help schoolchildren to construct knowledge more easily. It is used to build general objectives of the Courses and specific to each lesson. The procedure to follow is as follows:

It begins by setting the objectives of the subject. As they are extensive, it is recommended to choose between 3 or 5. They may be difficult to measure since they relate to the entire compendium of the course.

Next, the objectives of the classes are selected, which must be related to the general one . That is, if the lessons are given, the generals are achieved.

In relation to the goals of the lessons, they are evaluated in the course of the course. To create these, instructors must travel from the lowest area to the highest. When choosing the ends that will facilitate their instruction to the students, the table of verbs of the taxonomy should be used .

Goal creation

The selection of the objectives must be related to a goal that can change depending on the subject that sets it. For this reason, there are parameters that facilitate its achievement such as: Defining the order, a general and specific purpose; have an infinitive verb , plus the content. As for the text, the concept, foundation, process and quality are reviewed.


Bloom, in his classification of learning domains, deployed a hierarchy of training objectives that he aspires to achieve with learners. In this hierarchy, the three levels or domains are distinguished: Cognitive, affective and psychomotor. This is how the Bloom taxonomic pyramid was born.

The pyramid starts from the base to the top, with these verbs or objectives: Remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create. Students will not be able to achieve the highest proficiency without first having mastered the ones below.

Verb table

Bloom’s taxonomy was subjected to updates and considerations, which led to a precise change: Replace the use of nouns with verbs. Thus, a table of verbs correlated with the enunciation of each educational objective is born. Ordinarily they are used in the cognitive domain and its levels. Here are some examples that can be used in developing objectives.

  • Verbs for the general objectives: Collect, examine, guide, differentiate, calculate, categorize, collate, formulate, infer, inspect, form, identify, criticize, specify, expose, differentiate, introduce, substantiate.
  • Verbs for specific purposes: Compare, warn, differentiate, substantiate, calculate, formulate, identify, specify, estimate, debate, examine, explain, fraction, distinguish, qualify, categorize, contrast, prove, fraction.


Today, this theory remains a critical resource. However, despite being used as an effective piece in the classroom, in the digital and technological era it has generated criticism. The same happens because of the investigations of the psyche. Some of them:

  • It is based on behavioral initiations from early-century psychology .
  • It arose with the revolution of cognitive sciences , 20th century, more than 60 years. It implies that there are new perceptions and modern technologies that clash with old concepts.
  • Develops a segmentation of the curriculum with inaccuracies in the concept of pedagogical objectives. Teachers initially emphasize memorization of the entire curriculum, rather than understanding or applying knowledge.
  • It conceives education as established and mechanistic, promoting homogeneity and inactivity.
  • It is wrong to take taxonomy as a learning theory to explain how humans learn. It is to plan and value, not to explain.
  • When the subject of memory is approached, it is detailed as if it were one. Neuroscience identifies several types: immediate memory, working memory, and long-term memory.


It is a tool considered essential in the design of instructional strategies. It is decisive when it comes to ordering and understanding the development of knowledge. Especially if it focuses on the cognitive dimension empowered to channel information, preparation and brain dexterity.

It is also important because through its hierarchical structure it presents the way students can achieve their educational aspirations. Teachers, when planning their teaching experiences, must take these hierarchies into account. When organizing the different activities, advancement from one level to another must be allowed to reach the highest level.


To write an objective, the following steps are followed:

  • An infinitive verb must be used first. Following the verb, the question must be asked: What thing + verb? Example: What to analyze?
  • In this way the object of using that verb is defined. Suppose the answer is Academic performance. Action must now be defined. You have to ask yourself: How? Example: How are we going to analyze academic performance?
  • Finally, the purpose of carrying out that action is defined, the question is asked: To what end? Example For what purpose to analyze academic performance?

Books on Bloom’s Taxonomy

There are a great variety of books that directly treat this theory and others that were based on it for their edition, so we have titles such as:

  • Learning Assessment. Benjamin S. Bloom, J. Thomas Hastings, and George F. Madaus.
  • Scope of affectivity. Taxonomy of the objectives of Education. David R, Krathwohl, Benjamin S. Bloom, and Bertram B. Masla.
  • Bloom’s New Taxonomy. Applied to the teaching of Physics . César Gualberto, Victoria Barros and Miguel Ángel De la Cruz.
  • Learning Assessment. Alternatives and new developments Blanca S. López and Elsa M. Hinojosa.

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