Benjamin Bloom’s Cognitive Theory of Educational Objectives
The Bloom’s taxonomy is a multi-tiered model of thinking. Bloom believed that humans operate on six levels of cognition which are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, and evaluation. Using these factors, I will seek to discuss the major points of bloom’s theory and how this cognitive theory may assist teachers in their classrooms. In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behaviour imperative to learning. Bloom found that 95 % of the test questions students’ encounter requires them to think only at the lowest possible level that is the recall of information. Bloom also rationalise that it was of the fore most significance to develop a process by which specifications of educational objectives can be organised according to their cognitive complexity; the birth of Bloom’s taxonomy. The taxonomy is described as a hierarchy; because it was reasoned that comprehension relies on prior mastery of knowledge or facts, application depends on comprehension of relevant ideas, and so on through the remaining levels. (Snowman and Biehler 2006). Additionally it refers to a classification of the different objectives that educators set for students learning objectives. Bloom states that each subsequent level depends upon the student’s ability to perform at the level or levels that precede it. Woolfolk ( 2001) proposes that these objectives are commonly referred to as a hierarchy but Seddon, (1978) indicates that this is not entirely accurate, by making mention to the fact some subject like Mathematics do not fit this structure very well. However Bloom’s Taxonomy is still considered to this day as the one of the most significant writings of the twenty first century. Knowledge may be viewed as remembering previously learned information, such as facts, terms, procedures and principles. Groulund (2000) suggests that this factual objective can be measured by short answering or true or false. It represents the lowest level in Bloom's taxonomy. It is "low" only in the sense that it comes first; but it provides the basis for all "higher" cognitive activity. Paiget (1926) advocates that ‘knowledge itself is dynamic and people build knowledge as they integrate new information with what they already know”. This is required to adjust to what’s going on in the classroom environment to make sense of it and to function within it. Only after a learner is able to recall information is it possible to move on to the next level. Comprehension is grasping the meaning of information by putting it into one’s own words, drawing conclusions or stating implications. Comprehension moves beyond the basic parroting of facts found at the knowledge level. This domain involves being aware of the literal message contained in communication and being able to show a grasp of the relationships between each of these elements in your subject. The components of comprehension include self-regulation, interpretation and extrapolation. However, students have not begun applying what they’ve learned at this point. It is crucial to have mastery at this level to facilitate progression to the subsequent stage. In Bloom’s Taxonomy, application is the third level where a student moves beyond basic comprehension and actually begins to apply what they have learned. Students are expected to use concepts taught and apply them to new situations. Even though it is just above the comprehension level, the learner at this level solves practical problems by applying information comprehended at the previous level. Students’ use of a concept in an unprompted use of an abstraction is manifested at this level and this involves applying things such as rules, methods, concept, principles, laws and theories. Application is a prerequisite for analysis, synthesis, and...
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