Gearing Up with Bloom’s: An Introduction to 6 Thinking Skills
Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain (a fancy term for six critical thinking skills) has been around for a very long time and is still taught as part of educational pedagogy in most colleges and universities across the USA. Although many educators and trainers are familiar with Bloom’s, the percentage of them that deliberately design courses and programs using Bloom’s is probably quite small. Why?
Let’s face it: It’s challenging and time-consuming to create courses and programs that give learners opportunities to use all six critical thinking skills instead of just one or two. Want to test learners to see how well they recall facts you’ve taught them? That’s easy: just give them a pencil-and-paper test and they will have used the first of the six thinking skills – remembering. Have them explain the facts to someone else and they will have used the second thinking skill – understanding.
From there, it gets more difficult to figure out what learners are really taking away with them from a class or training. Can they use the information in real-life situations? That’s the third thinking skill – applying. How about analyzing (fourth skill) the facts for missing information? Or evaluating (fifth skill) the facts to determine whether or not the information makes sense in different situations or circumstances? Or creating (sixth skill) new ways to use the information?
Why would you want to have learners use these all of these six thinking skills when learning new content? There are many answers to this question, but I’ll just share two:
1. Learners will remember the content longer because they’ve spent time thinking more critically about the information.
2. Learners will be able to use the information you’ve taught them in more complex and meaningful ways in real-life situations.
Here is a short PDF-formatted slide presentation that will give you a humorous yet informative introduction to Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain: Gearing Up With Bloom’s. I created it for an in-house training that will take place at the end of this month; however, it will also help any trainer or educator understand more about Bloom’s six critical thinking skills.
And here is an excellent and thought-provoking article about using Bloom’s in the 21st century classroom or training room: Flipping and Expanding Bloom’s Taxonomy.