The Evolution of Bloom's Taxonomy


Bloom's taxonomy serves as the backbone of many teaching philosophies, in particular, those that lean towards skills rather than content. These educators view content as a vessel for teaching skills. The taxonomy is widely implemented as a hierarchy of verbs, designed to be used when writing learning outcomes. A 2020 analysis showed that these verb lists were not consistent across educational institutions, and learning outcomes that were mapped to one level of the hierarchy at one educational institution could be mapped to different levels at another institution

The skill development that takes place at higher orders of thinking interacts well with a developing global focus on multiple literacies and modalities in learning and the emerging field of integrated disciplines. The ability to interface with and create media would draw upon skills from both higher-order thinking skills (analysis, creation, and evaluation) and lower-order thinking skills (knowledge, comprehension, and application). The authors of the revised taxonomy suggested a multi-layered answer to this question. Below are their thoughts, along with some clarifications by Patricia Armstrong, Vanderbilt University:

  1. Objectives (learning goals) are important to establish in a pedagogical interchange so that teachers and students alike understand the purpose of that interchange.
  2. Teachers can benefit from using frameworks to organize objectives because
  3. Organizing objectives helps to clarify objectives for themselves and for students.
  4. Having an organized set of objectives helps teachers to:
    • “plan and deliver appropriate instruction”;
    • “design valid assessment tasks and strategies”;and
    • “ensure that instruction and assessment are aligned with the objectives.”

Both the original and revised taxonomies continue to be a source of inspiration for educational philosophy and for developing new teaching strategies.