What is Taxonomy of Cognitive Learning?
Taxonomy of cognitive learning can be used to move your students through the learning process within an organized framework. Benjamin Bloom (1956) was one of the first U.S. educators to build taxonomy of cognitive learning. His version has served as a foundation for many other versions (Davis, Chen, & Campbell, 2010), though for purposes of this document, we will focus on Bloom’s version.
Other versions you may want to investigate include: Miller’s Pyramid of Assessment (Imunet, n.d.), Feisel-Schmitz Technical Taxonomy of Intended Learning Outcomes (Teaching and Learning Laboratory, 2005), or Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning (Fallahi, 2011).
By following a taxonomy guide you can develop objectives, outcomes, and assessments that scaffold the knowledge of a topic, whether in a unit, course or program.
Most taxonomies of cognitive learning are divided into categories or levels. Bloom’s Taxonomy is hierarchical. Each level is subsumed by the higher levels. A student functioning at the Analysis level, for example, has also mastered the material at the Application and Comprehension levels (Davis, Chen, & Campbell, 2010).