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Appendix 2: Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy was developed in the 1950s and is still used today to categorise ways of learning and thinking. A revised model was developed in the 1990s to better fit educational practices of the 21st century. The stimulus for change was the reconceptualisation of thinking as an active process so the levels changed from being nouns to verbs. 

  • bloom

The cognitive thinking domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy classifies tasks into 6 levels, each one builds on the previous, beginning with the most simple, remembering to the most demanding, creating. The levels follow a hierarchy so only when learning and knowledge have been developed, tested and achieved at level 1 are students able to move on to level 2 and so on. 

Whereas P E² A places application at the pinnacle, in the 6 level structure of Bloom’s Taxonomy application is at level 3. There are two ways of interpreting this; the first is that Bloom’s gives three further levels allowing students to develop more complex skills of mastery in relation to the learning strand or outcome. The second interpretation is that the term ‘apply’ in Bloom’s is more restricted in the verb choices and that application is actually being achieved in apply, analyse, evaluate and create.

Bloom’s Taxonomy does not necessarily offer greater depth to learning than P E² A , but the compartmentalised stages narrowly refine and build incremental thinking skills over 6 levels as opposed to 4. The benefit of this structure is the specific verb focus attributed to each level, which builds and guides incremental depth to the learning strand.