Why do we use Bloom’s taxonomy as a questioning structure?
Studies have shown that by using specific key questions, we are able to build on children’s lower-level cognitive skills. For example: The first level is knowledge. By using careful questioning, we are able to assess just how well children understand the story. Are they able to retell the story? If so, do they remember the details, or is it just a general overview? By asking these questions, children are encouraged to listen and understand the detail in a story. This not only helps them to become confident story tellers, but also extends their vocabulary alongside their sequencing skills.
Comprehension questions will ensure they not only understand the information and materials, but are able to translate materials from one form or format to another by explaining or summarizing and predicting consequences or effects.
Application questions demonstrates a higher level of understanding of the mechanics of employing information to a purpose than comprehension. Children are then able to use information and materials to solve new problems or respond to concrete situations which have a single or best answer.
Definition questions ensure children are able to decompose materials into their component parts so they can be examined and understood. Through this concept, children are then able to develop multiple conclusions concerning the motives, causes, inferences and generalizations which can be derived from the material’s component parts and organization.
Synthesis will emphasize creativity and the creation of unique patterns or structures by using new and creative applications of prior knowledge and skills. Consequently, enhancing the children’s ability to produce a new or original end product such as a different ending for a story, or the introduction of a new character.
Evaluation questions ensure children are able to judge the value of materials based on their own personal values/opinions or definite criteria. This form of questioning is concerned with teaching children to evaluate material to determine if it fulfills given purpose. Children are then able to produce an end product which fulfills a given purpose rather than being right/wrong.
Benjamin S. Bloom (1913-1999) worked for over fifty years as an educational psychologist dedicated to developing ways of describing, assessing and encouraging higher-order thinking in children and adults.
Bloom, B. S. (1969). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals : Handbook I, Cognitive domain. New York: McKay.
Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., & Bloom, B. S. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.