Treatsie Against Bloom’s Taxonomy Infographics

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry is a teacher, researcher and scholar at Southern Connecticut State University.

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1 Response

  1. Jim Lerman says:

    Greg, you are right when you say what’s commonly called Bloom’s Taxonomy is really about cognition. And you are also right when you caution against the further reduction and simplification of his complex theoretical work from volumes to its utilitarian use as a simple chart, or tool.

    Bloom actually called it the taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain. In 1959, Bloom and his team posited a conceptual framework that there were 3 domains of learning: Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor. They considered the 3 to be equally important and interdependent. They wrote extensively about the Cognitive domain, comparatively little about the Affective (where what we call today Social and Emotional Learning would largely fit), and not much at all about the Psychomotor.
    Furthermore, Bloom approached the taxonomies largely from the point of view of assessment, not pedagogy. Bloom’s taxonomies were intended as a conceptual framework for approaching the assessment of learning, not a tool for designing instruction. They have been subverted and repurposed, much to the detriment of our and our children’s education.

    The Cognitive domain fits so neatly into the modern (1950’s onward) standardized, test-driven environment that focuses primarily on recall and regurgitation of content, rather than inclusion of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Considerations of the whole child in schooling are lost. Perhaps this emphasis on content over development of human potential is what contributes in great measure to the convenience, longevity, and continuing popularity of “Bloom’s Taxonomy” as an instructional tool in first world, Western schools.

    I recently read a piece about Paulo Freire that takes this consideration much deeper. You and your readers might find it interesting if you haven’t seen it already.

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