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Bloom’s Taxonomy: The 21st Century Version

So much have been written about Bloom’s taxonomy; one click in a search engine will flood your page with hundreds of articles all of which revolve around this taxonomy. Only few are those who have tried to customize it to fit in the 21st century educational paradigm. As a fan of Bloom’s pedagogy and being a classroom practitioner, I always look for new ways to improve my learning and teaching, and honestly speaking , if you are a teacher/ educator and still do not understand Bloom’s taxonomy then you are missing out on a great educational resource.

The following article is a summary and a fruit of my long painstaking research in the field of Bloom’s taxonomy. The purpose is to help teachers grow professionally and provide them with a solid informational background on how to better understand and apply Bloom’s taxonomy in  classrooms in the light of the new technological advances and innovations.

Bloom’s taxonomy of learning as Wikipedia has put it is “ a classification of learning objectives within education proposed in 1956 by a committee of educators chaired by Benjamin Bloom ”. Although it received little attention when first published, Bloom’s taxonomy has since been translated into 22 languages and is one of the most widely applied and most often cited reference in education.

Bloom, being convinced of the importance of thinking behaviors in the processes of learning, had spearheaded a group of brilliant educational psychologists to undertake the task of classifying educational goals and objectives. They first came up with a general framework which  later on turned into  a taxonomy of three domains:

1 – The cognitive : The intellectual or knowledge based domain consisted of 6 levels . Associated with the verb to THINK
2 – The Affective : Emotional or attitudinal based domain and consists of 5 levels. It is associated with the verb to FEEL
3 – The Psycho motor : The physical skills based domain and consists of 6 levels.


Bloom created different levels for both the cognitive and affective domains but never fully detailed the psycho-motor domain leaving it for others to complete the task.

Let us now go through the different domains stated here. Apart from the diagram I created , all the other pictures and diagrams are taken from different sources. When you click on a picture it will direct you to its source.

1 - The Cognitive Domain

It involves knowledge and development of intellectual skills from Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS ) to Higher Order Thinking Skills ( HOTS ). They are arranged below in an increasing order from lower to higher order.


bloom taxonomy

2 – The Affective Domain

Skills in this category describe the way people react emotionally and their ability to feel each another . The five major affective categories are listed from the simplest behavior to the most complex.


3-The Psycho-motor Domain

Bloom did not create subcategories for the psycho-motor domain but others such as Simpson, Harrow, and Dave have. They have added:

  1.  Perception: The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity
  2. Set :Readiness to act. It includes mental , physical and emotional sets.
  3. Guided Response : Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.
  4. Complex Overt Response : The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns.
  5. Adaptation : The individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements
  6. Origination : Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem


In each of the three domains, Bloom’s taxonomy is based on the premise that categories are ordered in degree of difficulty. An important premise of Bloom’s taxonomy is that each category or level must be mastered before progressing to the next. Accordingly:
  • Before we can understand a concept we must remember it.
  • Before we can apply the concept we must understand it
  • Before we analyze it we must be able to apply it
  • Before we can evaluate its impact we must have analyzed it
  • Before we can create we must have remembered, understood, applied, analyzed and evaluated.



Blooms Revised Taxonomy  ( BRT )


During the 1990s a new group of cognitive psychologists, lead by Lorin Anderson ( a former student of Bloom ) and David Krathwohl updated the taxonomy reflecting relevance to 21st century education. In 2001, they published Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy with some changes. The changes occur in 3 main categories:

1 – Terminology
They changed the names in the six categories from noun to verb forms

2 – Structural Changes
Bloom’s original cognitive taxonomy was one dimensional form but with the addition of products , the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy becomes a two-dimensional table

cognitive table

3 – Changes in Emphasis

The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy places emphasis upon its use as a “ more authentic tool for curriculum planning, instructional delivery and assessment.” This new taxonomy reflects a more active form of thinking and is perhaps more accurate.

bloom difference

With the advance of technology into our lives and particularly into education , we started to talk about new emerging skills and competences that Bloom’s first taxonomy did not include. Below is a diagram i have created to include these new skills which corresponds to the 21st century learning.

bloom's digital taxonomy1

Blooms Taxonomy for iPads taken from iPad Applications in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

blooms taxonmy for ipads

Google tools to support Bloom’s Taxonomy taken from Bloomin Google

bloomin google

Here is a model of learning objectives taken from Iowa State University

blooms taxonomy3

My Webliography:

8 comments : POST A COMMENT

  1. Your readers may be interested in the links I have collected here on Bloom's Taxonomy.

  2. I am very impressed and intrigued by your post, "Bloom's Taxonomy: 21st Century." I am an educator who has been attempting (with some success, and ample room for improvement) to incorporate/infuse technology into my curriculum. I am a high supporter of the Bloom's Taxonomy, and I feel that it is imbedded into my current teaching practice. Seeing these new developments designed to bring Bloom's to a whole new level is very inspiring.

    I appreciate the shift from passive (noun) terms to active (verb) terms to describe the skills/actions learners should accomplish/perform. Examples: Knowledge turns to remembering and comprehension turns to understanding. That actually does make a big difference. I wonder if educational systems might completely buy into this shift, and if we might see evidence of this in upcoming workshops, conferences, and professional development.

    Also, thank you for including the charts to show specific technological tools available to support each level of Blooms via iPad and Google. I hope to further investigate and apply these tools in my classroom and at home with my preschooler.

  3. Thank you BlessedMom for you comment i am glad to hear you using Blooms taxonomy in your teaching , i wish you all the best.

  4. This is great.:) I have always believed in Bloom's Taxonomy in my teaching ... It is the best ... If all educators could value their teaching in this light, would we have students developed in a holistic nature .. Thank you for posting this. It is very valuable to all teachers.

  5. Hi! I use the Blooms as well.. I usually rank 'application' after 'analysis'. Also, isn't there 'recreate' after 'create' now?

  6. Hello, It is too good, after remembering and recalling the lesson taught/read, one can go for understanding about that and can go for application in daily life. During application there is a need for analysis and we evaluate for getting the best one and we gor for creating according to the need.

  7. Thank you! As a nursing teacher, your informations related to psychomotor skills were very important and I will look for the original authors.

  8. I like how you present Bloom's Taxonomy using iPAd apps.
    It is quite creative!
    I just want to say that 'iBook' can be the top of the Taxonomy if we have students create their own books.


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