The Teachers Toolbox – Resources

Bloom’s Taxonomy

This compilation divides the three domains into subdivisions, starting from the simplest behaviour to the most complex.

Cognitive > Affective > Psychomotor

Bloom’s taxonomy is easily understood and is probably the most widely applied classification in use today.


The most-used of the domains, refers to knowledge structures (although sheer “knowing the facts” is its bottom level). It can be viewed as a sequence of progressive contextualisation of the material. (Based on Bloom,1956)

This model is included because it is still frequently used, but Anderson and Krathwohl* (2001) have made some apparently minor but actually significant modifications, to come up with an ‘improved’ model…NEXT.

*ANDERSON, L W, & KRATHWOHL D R (eds.) (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman

Revised Taxonomy

The cognitive domain following Anderson and Krathwohl (2001)
The top category has changed, and is about being able to create additional knowledge inside the domain. There has been a change in intonation, from nouns to verbs…

Affective Domain

The Affective domain has received less attention, and is less intuitive than the Cognitive. It is concerned with values, or more precisely perhaps with perception of value issues, and ranges from mere awareness (Receiving), through to being able to distinguish implicit values through analysis. (Kratwohl, Bloom and Masia (1964))*

* KRATWOHL D R, BLOOM B S and MASIA B B (1964). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals– Handbook II: Affective Domain New York: McKay  


Bloom never completed work on this domain, and there have been several attempts to complete it. One of the simplest versions has been suggested by Dave (1975)*: it fits with the model of developing skill put forward by Reynolds (1965), and it also draws attention to the fundamental role of imitation in skill acquisition.

*DAVE R H (1975), Developing and Writing Behavioural Objectives. (R J Armstrong, ed.) Educational Innovators Press

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The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behaviour to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can take place.
Bloom’s Taxonomy - Cognitive



Recall data or information.

Examples : Recite a policy. Quote prices from memory to a customer. Know the safety rules.

Key Words : defines, describes, identifies, knows, labels, lists, matches, names, outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces, selects, states.



Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one’s own words.

Examples : Rewrite the principles of test writing. Explain in one’s own words the steps for performing a complex task. Translate an equation into a computer spreadsheet.

Key Words : comprehends, converts, defends, distinguishes, estimates, explains, extends, generalizes, infers, interprets, paraphrases, predicts, rewrites, summarizes, translates.



Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Apply what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place.

Examples : Use a manual to calculate an employee’s vacation time. Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test.

Key Words : applies, changes, computes, constructs, demonstrates, discovers, manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts, prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves, uses.



Separate material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguish between facts and inferences.

Examples : Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gather information from a department and select the required tasks for training.

Key Words : analyses, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates.



Build a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.

Examples : Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task. Integrate training from several sources to solve a problem. Revise and process to improve the outcome.

Key Words : categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.



Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.

Examples : Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.

Key Words : appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.

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This domain includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes. The five major categories listed the simplest behaviour to the most complex:

Bloom’s Taxonomy - Affective Domain


Receiving Phenomena

Awareness, willingness to hear, selected attention.

Examples : Listen to others with respect. Listen for and remember the name of newly introduced people.

Key Words : asks, chooses, describes, follows, gives, holds, identifies, locates, names, points to, selects, sits, erects, replies, uses.


Responding to Phenomena:

Active participation on the part of the learners. Attends and reacts to a particular phenomenon. Learning outcomes may emphasize compliance in responding, willingness to respond, or satisfaction in responding (motivation).

Examples : Participate in class discussions. Give a presentation. Question new ideals, concepts, models, etc. in order to fully understand them. Know the safety rules and practice them.

Key Words : answers, assists, aids, complies, conforms, discusses, greets, helps, labels, performs, practices, presents, reads, recites, reports, selects, tells, writes.



The worth or value a person attaches to a particular object, phenomenon, or behaviour. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more complex state of commitment. Valuing is based on the internalisation of a set of specified values, while clues to these values are expressed in the learners overt behaviour and are often identifiable.

Examples : Demonstrate belief in the democratic process. Is sensitive towards individual and cultural differences (value diversity). Show the ability to solve problems. Propose a plan to social improvement and follows through with commitment. Informs management on matters that one feels strongly about.

Key Words : completes, demonstrates, differentiates, explains, follows, forms, initiates, invites, joins, justifies, proposes, reads, reports, selects, shares, studies, works.



Organizes values into priorities by contrasting different values, resolving conflicts between them, and creating an unique value system. The emphasis is on comparing, relating, and synthesizing values.

Examples : Recognize the need for balance between freedom and responsible behaviour. Accept responsibility for one’s behaviour. Explain the role of systematic planning in solving problems. Accept professional ethical standards. Create a life plan in harmony with abilities, interests, and beliefs. Prioritise time effectively to meet the needs of the organization, family, and self.

Key Words : adheres, alters, arranges, combines, compares, completes, defends, explains, formulates, generalizes, identifies, integrates, modifies, orders, organizes, prepares, relates, synthesizes.


Internalising values (characterization):

Has a value system that controls their behaviour. The behaviour is pervasive, consistent, predictable, and most importantly, characteristic of the learner. Instructional objectives are concerned with the student’s general patterns of adjustment (personal, social, emotional).

Examples : Show self-reliance when working independently. Cooperate in group activities (display teamwork). Use an objective approach in problem solving. Display a professional commitment to ethical practice on a daily basis. Revise judgments and change behaviour in light of new evidence. Value people for what they are, not how they look.

Key Words : acts, discriminates, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies, questions, revises, serves, solves, verifies.


The psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution. The seven major categories listed the simplest behaviour to the most complex:

Bloom’s Taxonomy - Psycho-motor



The ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity. This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation.

Examples : Detect non-verbal communication cues. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Adjust heat of stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. Adjust the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet.

Key Words : chooses, describes, detects, differentiates, distinguishes, identifies, isolates, relates, selects.



Readiness to act. It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person’s response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets).

Examples : Know and act upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Recognize ones abilities and limitations. Show desire to learn a new process (motivation). NOTE: This subdivision of Psychomotor is closely related with the “Responding to phenomena” subdivision of the Affective domain.

Key Words : begins, displays, explains, moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states, volunteers.


Guided Response:

The early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error. Adequacy of performance is achieved by practising.

Examples : Perform a mathematical equation as demonstrated. Follow instructions to build a model. Respond to hand-signals of instructor while learning to operate a forklift.

Key Words : copies, traces, follows, reacts, reproduces, responds



This is the intermediate stage in learning a complex skill. Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency.

Examples : Use a personal computer. Repair a leaking tap. Drive a car.

Key Words : assembles, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.


Complex Overt Response:

The skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns. Proficiency is indicated by a quick, accurate, and highly coordinated performance, requiring a minimum of energy. This category includes performing without hesitation, and automatic performance. For example, players are often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football, because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce.

Examples : Manoeuvre a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operate a computer quickly and accurately. Display competence while playing the piano.

Key Words : assembles, builds, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.

NOTE: The Key Words are the same as Mechanism, but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker, better, more accurate, etc.



Skills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements.

Examples : Respond effectively to unexpected experiences. Modify instruction to meet the needs of the learners. Perform a task with a machine that it was not originally intended to do (machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task).

Key Words : adapts, alters, changes, rearranges, reorganizes, revises, varies.



Creating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem. Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills.

Examples : Construct a new theory. Develop a new and comprehensive training programming. Create a new gymnastic routine.

Key Words : arranges, builds, combines, composes, constructs, creates, designs, initiate, makes, originates.

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