Facilitation of Critical Thinking Skills

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Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives

After completing this lesson, professors will understand how to facilitate students’ critical thinking skills by developing teaching methods that utilize more than lectures and demand more than memorization.

Major Ideas Related to the Concept

1. Bloom’s Taxonomy includes—in hierarchical order—knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (Gray, & Waggoner, 2002).

2. While the lower levels of the taxonomy are often necessary for students to learn a new concept, they are ultimately insufficient for mastery (McNeil, 2011). As such, effective lessons demand students not only have knowledge of a subject but also synthesize what they have learned.

3. “Knowledge and comprehension”, according to Bloom, is merely the ability to recall a pattern, definition, or method, while “evaluation and synthesis” is the ability to judge current patterns, definitions, and methods, or construct new ones (Rupani & Bhutto, 2011).

4. Because reaching “evaluation and synthesis” leads to subject mastery as well as knowledge, lessons should be created with an eye towards reaching the highest levels of the taxonomy (Ibid).

5. Reaching the highest levels of the taxonomy in your lessons requires composing lesson objectives, instructional strategies, and assessment methods such as standardized testing from a content level analysis (Kastberg, 2003). From this analysis, learning objectives that will challenge diverse learners to reach the Evaluation and Synthesis stages of Bloom’s taxonomy become clear.

6. Learning objectives are what students are expected to be capable of doing after participating in a lesson, expressed in a way that should be measurable by the instructor (Chyung & Treñas, 2009).

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