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Critical thinking and Information Literacy: Bloom's Taxonomy

Information Literacy and Critical Thinking

What is Bloom's Taxonomy and why is it relevant to Critical Thinking

Bloom's Taxonomy and Critical Thinking go hand in hand.  Bloom's taxonomy takes students through a thought process of analyzing information or knowledge critically.  Bloom's taxonomy begins with knowledge/memory and slowly pushes students to seek more information based upon a series of levels of questions and keywords that brings out an action on the part of the student.  Both critical thinking and Bloom's taxonomy are necessary to education and meta-cognition. 


Practical Applications:

  • The Idea of “dialogue” with a “text” and on of  filling gaps or silences in the what you are  reading in order  so that you can contribute to any conversation, in particular when writing a research paper is primordial.
  • Teaching students extrapolation- The concept that they are in charge of answering their own questions. "effects" of something must be determined by my own findings!
  • The more “content” background knowledge we have the more critical our engagement.


Why Use Bloom's Taxonomy?

Why Use Bloom's Taxonomy?

Source below Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching- Patricia Armstrong- Bloom's Taxonomy

  1. Objectives (learning goals) are important to establish in a pedagogical interchange so that teachers and students alike understand the purpose of that interchange.
  2. Teachers can benefit from using frameworks to organize objectives because
  3. Organizing objectives helps to clarify objectives for themselves and for students.
  4. Having an organized set of objectives helps teachers to:
    • “plan and deliver appropriate instruction”;
    • “design valid assessment tasks and strategies”; and
    • “ensure that instruction and assessment are aligned with the objectives.”

See also, Anderson, Lorin W., et al. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing : A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives / Editors, Lorin W. Anderson, David Krathwohl ; Contributors, Peter W. Airasian ... [et Al.]. Complete ed., Longman, 2001.

The Revised Taxonomy 2001

Source below Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching- Patricia Armstrong- Bloom's Taxonomy

  • Remember
    • Recognizing
    • Recalling
  • Understand
    • Interpreting
    • Exemplifying
    • Classifying
    • Summarizing
    • Inferring
    • Comparing
    • Explaining
  • Apply
    • Executing
    • Implementing
  • Analyze
    • Differentiating
    • Organizing
    • Attributing
  • Evaluate
    • Checking
    • Critiquing
  • Create
    • Generating
    • Planning
    • Producing

"In the revised taxonomy, knowledge is at the basis of these six cognitive processes, but its authors created a separate taxonomy of the types of knowledge used in cognition: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching- Patricia Armstrong- Bloom's Taxonomy

  • Factual Knowledge
    • Knowledge of terminology
    • Knowledge of specific details and elements
  • Conceptual Knowledge
    • Knowledge of classifications and categories
    • Knowledge of principles and generalizations
    • Knowledge of theories, models, and structures
  • Procedural Knowledge
    • Knowledge of subject-specific skills and algorithms
    • Knowledge of subject-specific techniques and methods
    • Knowledge of criteria for determining when to use appropriate procedures
  • Metacognitive Knowledge
    • Strategic Knowledge
    • Knowledge about cognitive tasks, including appropriate contextual and conditional knowledge
    • Self-knowledge

Critical thinking Bloom's Taxonomy


Image source: Google Images Search: WellsAcademicSolutions-

In Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956), Bloom outlined  six hierarchical and interconnected:

  • Knowledge
  • Comprehension
  • Application
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Evaluation

Bloom Taxonomy Example

Here is an example of Bloom's Taxonomy in use:


Thesis Statement - Why was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech so important to our nation?
Evaluation – How would Martin Luther King react to our current state? 
Synthesis - Construct an outline of what this country would look like without racism.
Analysis – What would Dr. King have accomplished if he were still alive?
Application – How can you help turn Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision into a reality?
Comprehension – Why did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. make this great speech?
Knowledge - In what year did King make his great speech “I Have a Dream”? Name three things in the speech that stand out to you? 
De Gastyne, Michele. “Creative and Critical Thinking, and Ways to Achieve It.” Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, vol. 9, no. SI, 2020. P.  159.