What is Bloom’s taxonomy?
Benjamin Bloom developed a way of categorizing our thinking skills into a hierarchy like this:
The taxonomy is very useful for English teachers when devising questions for students or asking them to arrive at their own questions.
Start with simple ‘what’ questions for ‘remember/understand’, .e.g ‘what is happening in this text?’
Ask students to ‘how’ questions next for apply/analyse: ‘how does the writer create interest/suspense/drama etc.?’
Ask students evaluative questions after that: ‘how successful is the text?’
Ask creative questions to achieve the top of the pyramid, e.g. ‘Write a diary entry based on a character’s thoughts and feelings in the novel’, ‘Write a poem in response to this text’ etc.
Many educational theorists have questioned whether there is a hierarchy of cognition like this.