Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
(Bloom 1956)

Categories in the Cognitive Domain:
(with Outcome-Illustrating Verbs)

  1. Knowledge remembering of previously learned material; of terminology; specific facts; ways and means of dealing with specifics (conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology); universals and abstractions in a field (principles and generalizations, theories and structures):
    Knowledge is (here) defined as the remembering (recalling) of appropriate, previously learned information.
    • defines; describes; enumerates; identifies; labels; lists; matches; names; reads; records; reproduces; selects; states; views; writes;.

  2. Comprehension: Grasping (understanding) the meaning of informational materials.
    • classifies; cites; converts; describes; discusses; estimates; explains; generalizes; gives examples; illustrates; makes sense out of; paraphrases; restates (in own words); summarizes; traces; understands.

  3. Application: The use of previously learned information in new and concrete situations to solve problems that have single or best answers.
    • acts; administers; applies; articulates; assesses; charts; collects; computes; constructs; contributes; controls; demonstrates; determines; develops; discovers; establishes; extends; implements; includes; informs; instructs; operationalizes; participates; predicts; prepares; preserves; produces; projects; provides; relates; reports; shows; solves; teaches; transfers; uses; utilizes.

  4. Analysis: The breaking down of informational materials into their component parts, examining (and trying to understand the organizational structure of) such information to develop divergent conclusions by identifying motives or causes, making inferences, and/or finding evidence to support generalizations.
    • analyzes; breaks down; categorizes; compares; contrasts; correlates; diagrams; differentiates; discriminates; distinguishes; focuses; illustrates; infers; limits; outlines; points out; prioritizes; recognizes; separates; subdivides.

  5. Synthesis: Creatively or divergently applying prior knowledge and skills to produce a new or original whole.
    • adapts; anticipates; collaborates; combines; communicates; compiles; composes; creates; designs; develops; devises; expresses; facilitates; formulates; generates; hypothesizes; incorporates; individualizes; initiates; integrates; intervenes; invents; models; modifies; negotiates; plans; progresses; rearranges; reconstructs; reinforces; reorganizes; revises; structures; substitutes; validates.

  6. Evaluation (On same level as synthesis?): Judging the value of material based on personal values/opinions, resulting in an end product, with a given purpose, without real right or wrong answers.
    • appraises; compares & contrasts; concludes; criticizes; critiques; decides; defends; interprets; judges; justifies; reframes; supports.

Other Domains for Educational Objectives:
  • Affective Domain (emphasizing feeling and emotion)
  • Psychomotor Domain (concerned with motor skills)

Internet Resources:


Anderson, Lorin W. & Lauren A. Sosniak, eds., Bloom's Taxonomy: A Forty-Year Retrospective. Chicago, Ill. : NSSE : Distributed by the University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Reflections on the development and use of the taxonomy / Benjamin S. Bloom 
Excerpts from the "Taxonomy of educational objectives ... handbook 1: Cognitive domain" / Benjamin S. Bloom et al. 
Bloom's taxonomy / Edward J. Furst 
Psychological perspectives /William D. Rohwer, Jr. and Kathryn Sloane 
Empirical investigations of the hierarchical structure of the taxonomy / Amelia E. Kreitzer and George F. Madaus 
The impact of the taxonomy on testing and evaluation / Peter Airasian 
The taxonomy, curriculum, and their relations / Lauren A. Sosniak 
Research on teaching and teacher education / Lorin W. Anderson 
The taxonomy of educational objectives in continental Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East / Arieh Lewy and Zolta´n Ba´thory 
The taxonomy in the Republic of Korea / Bom Mo Chung 
Validity vs. utility / T. Neville Postlethwaite 
Reflections on the taxonomy / David R. Krathwohl. 

Anderson, L. & Krathwohl, D. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman, 2001.

Extensive Online Bloom Bibliography []

Bloom Benjamin S. and David R. Krathwohl. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York, Longmans, Green, 1956.

Bloom, Robert S., Stating Educational Objectives in Behavioral Terms, Nursing Forum 14(1), 1975, 31-42.

John DiMarco, Examining Bloom's Taxonomy and Peschl’s Modes of Knowing for Classification of Learning Objects on the Website []

Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom's taxonomy: Original and revised.. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. []

Garavalia, L., Hummel, J., Wiley, L., & Huitt, W. (1999). Constructing the course syllabus: Faculty and student perceptions of important syllabus components. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, 10(1), 5-22.

Gronlund, Norman E., Stating Behavioral Objectives for Classroom Instruction. New York: Macmillan, 1970.

Harrow, A., A Taxonomy of the Psychomotor Domain. A guide for Developing Behavioral Objectives. New York: McKay, 1972.

Huitt, W. (2009). Bloom et al.'s taxonomy of the cognitive domain. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University
Huitt, W. (1992). Problem solving and decision making: Consideration of individual differences using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Journal of Psychological Type, 24, 33-44.

Jonassen, D., W. Hannum, and M. Tessmer, "Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives." Chapt. 12 of Handbook of Task Analysis Procedures. New York: Praeger 1989.

Krathwohl, David R., Benjamin S. Bloom, and Bertram B. Masia, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. Handbook II: Affective Domain. New York: David McKay Co., Inc., 1964.

Krumme, G., "A Learning Matrix" (for Economic Geography)

"How to write learning outcomes", by Alan Jenkins (Oxford Brookes University) & Dave Unwin (Birkbeck College London)

  • "Learning outcomes are statements of what is expected that a student will be able to DO as a result of a learning activity. For this new version of the Core Curriculum the activity will be following your materials on WWW or listening to a lecture based on them, but it could also be a laboratory class, even an entire study programme."

Orwin, Clifford; Forbes, H. D. The Openness That Closes: Allan Bloom and the Contemporary University. Interchange; v22 n1-2 p115-25 1991

PASSIG, David, A Taxonomy of Future Higher Thinking Skills, INFORMATICA, 2(1), 2003, [Abstract & References]

Winegarden, Babbi J., Writing Instructional Objectives

Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience: Domains of Learning

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