Bloom’s taxonomy – Different levels of cognition

Gone are the days where students have to spend hours memorising texts and committing everything that they come across to memory. With advancements in media and technology, the way we deal with and process information has changed vastly over the years so there definitely has been a shift in what learners are expected to know and do with all this information.

At the most basic level, students are still required to recall certain facts and basic concepts but it doesn’t end there. Many times, students need to demonstrate understanding by describing and explaining ideas and concepts and then be able to apply that understanding to solve or interpret new situations and contexts. Primary school education is no longer one which our children are expected to merely regurgitate what they have read. 

At a higher level, students need to analyse and draw connections between ideas and be able to evaluate, critique or justify a stand or position. Ultimately, students who are able to create and develop new or original work would showcase their higher-order thinking. Bloom’s taxonomy offers a framework for us to understand the different levels of cognition. 

So what does this mean for our children in school?

How do we ensure that our children are able to progress through these levels of thinking?

This is where we believe that we can reinforce understanding, application, analysis, evaluation and creation by tapping on what our kids are already doing in school or through experiences around them. Drawing from this, we can ask different questions to stimulate thinking. Here are some examples:

What’s interesting is that schools are already encouraging students towards higher order thinking. The MOE curriculum takes on an inquiry approach with a focus on applied learning, problem-solving and critical thinking in authentic real-life contexts and this can be seen in the different levels of questions that have been asked during examinations. 

You can find out more about the latest MOE syllabus here. https://www.moe.gov.sg/primary/curriculum/syllabus

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