Benjamin Bloom and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be writing about the educational theorist Benjamin Bloom for my class on motivating 21st century learners.

Benjamin Bloom was born in Lansford, Pennsylvania in 1944. He earned a B.A. and M.S. from Pennsylvania State in 1935. Bloom continued his education at the University of Chicago to receive his Ph.D. in 1942.  In 1956, along with other contributors, Bloom published his work Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which is most commonly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy [1].

The original taxonomy included six categories, which act as a hierarchy. Each category represents an area of learning that all contribute to a student’s overall development and knowledge, which include:”knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation”. In 2001, the taxonomy was revised to include new labeled categories: “remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create “. A major difference, is that the revised taxonomy includes active verbs and sub categories to label specific skills for each category [2].

The hierarchy levels work in the 2001 revision [3]:


Bloom’s taxonomy recognizes various levels of thinking when it comes to learning development. Students need to be able to remember, and understand knowledge in relation to their classes, and personal lives. However, I think a lot of what librarians help 21st century  learners do is more of the higher order level thinking: applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. Whether this is through applying knowledge to their class work or personal lives, using analysis skills in research, evaluating credible resources or creating products through social media or Web 2.0 tools; all parts of the taxonomy are important. A student can’t reach creation, without a basic understanding of the content in front of them and a student’s development will be limited if they do not move beyond the lower stages.

1. Armstrong, P. (2014). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Vanderbilt University: Center for Teaching. Retrieved from:

2. Bloom, influential education researcher. (1999). University of Chicago Chronicle: Vol.19, No.1. Retrieved from:

3.Brame, C.J. (2014). Flipping the classroom. Vanderbilt University: Center for Teaching. Retrieved from:


One thought on “Benjamin Bloom and Bloom’s Taxonomy

  1. Lisa,
    These days we often hear so much emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, or the top of the Bloom’s hierarchy. I agree that it’s necessary for students to do this higher-order thinking, to analyze and create, but I think you make an excellent point about all levels of the hierarchy being important. It’s very true that students can’t reach the higher levels without first understanding the content.

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