Get Your Geek On: Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy by Tracy Wilson

This post will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Bloom’s taxonomy, how it can be used as a tool for writing, recognizing fallacies in one’s own writing, and applying the model for the purposes of finding credible sources.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Granello (2001) provides a thorough explanation of Bloom’s taxonomy and how it can improve literature reviews.  One of the major strengths is that the model can be applied across disciplines and is not limited to literature reviews.  In fact, the model can be used outside of academia and applied to daily decision-making.   

Bloom’s taxonomy is also user-friendly.  It is easy to understand, but this could be a double-edged sword.  The simplistic, generalized nature could be seen as a weakness, especially when compared to Krathwohl’s (2002) revision where the model is broken down into smaller parts.

Lastly, the model could be seen as outdated.  The introduction of the model in 1956 makes it 61 years old.  That could deter many scholars, but Granello (2001) proved that the model is still applicable. 

Bloom’s Taxonomy as a Writing Tool

As a writing tool, Bloom’s taxonomy allows students to look at previously proposed issues, clarify those problems, find relationships in the research, recognize incongruence, fallacies, and even contribute new ideas for solving the problem (Granello, 2001).  For scholarly writing, one must go beyond simply repeating information.  The student must utilize the research, but ultimately he or she should relay more than just comprehension.  It is one thing to understand something, and it is an entirely different thing to be able to purposefully evaluate an issue, making room for new theories.

As a writer, understanding Bloom’s taxonomy will help me recognize gaps in my thinking.  By understanding each level of thinking, I can move beyond surface-level cognition and dig deeper.  After all, the ultimate goal is to contribute to my field of study. I cannot do that without reaching the highest level of thinking and applying it to my writing.

Evaluating Sources Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

            When a student can look at a source, draw their own conclusions, and make the distinction as to what is true research and what is biased opinion, they have stepped into a much larger world filled with endless possibilities (Granello, 2001).  As Granello (2001) pointed out, “Students who master the evaluative level recognize that there are certain preestablished criteria that are used to evaluate source writings” (p. 297).  Choosing sources that are reliable and valid are essential for scholarly writing.  By utilizing critical evaluation skills gained from Bloom’s taxonomy, it is much easier to navigate through all of the sources available for any subject area.  The ability to look at the research and find contradictions is essential in laying a foundation for research.    

     Some articles are written at a skeletal level.  They simply relay information or move through comprehension as the goal.  Articles that move passed that typically present methods, designs, outcomes, and evaluations.  They also apply the data.  By going deeper into the topic research, the writing demonstrates that the author(s) are thinking about thinking.  The goal is not just to present information and hope the reader will take something from it.  The objective is to relay information and present deeper cognitive consideration for the subject at hand.

Conclusion

In summary, Bloom’s taxonomy is an invaluable tool to students, but it can also provide direction for basic decision-making.  The model has far more strengths than weaknesses, and it can help scholars construct sound research papers.  The approach provides a framework for source evaluation as well, allowing students to choose the best research to expound upon and to pave the way for personal contributions to the field.

 

References

Granello, D. H. (2001). Promoting cognitive complexity in graduate written work: Using Bloom’s taxonomy as a pedagogical  

          tool to improve literature reviews.  Counselor Education & Supervision, 40(4), 292–307.  Retrieved from

          http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/201056583?accountid=27965    

Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A revision of bloom’s taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-215. Retrieved from

          http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/218799120?accountid=27965

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