14. Bloom’s taxonomy: helping you to think about thinking


Explain that in 1956 Benjamin Bloom chaired a committee of educators that developed a hierarchical way of classifying the way that people learn. Since then, ‘Bloom’s taxonomy’, as it became known, has been revised by other educators and psychologists. In the 1990s Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl were amongst those who came up with the hierarchy of learning objectives that it the subject of this session.

Show the students the ‘Anderson & Krathwohl’ model below, with the descriptions of skills that might be used at each ‘level’.

Explain that this Taxonomy can be thought of as a pyramid, with simple knowledge-based recall questions at the base, building up to increasingly challenging questions that test comprehension of a given material.


Ask students to consider and respond to such questions as:

  • In what ways are the skills of ‘remembering’ simpler than ‘understanding’?
  • Why is ‘evaluating’ more complex than ‘applying’?
  • Is creating really more difficult than analysing?


Prompt the students to apply the Taxonomy to a story, using the following questions to guide them:

Ask them if they can apply these ideas to some of the following stories, versions of which can easily be found on the web:

  • The Boy who cried Wolf
  • Plato’s Cave
  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan
  • The Enlightenment of the Buddha


Explain that ‘metacognition’ is when you are thinking about your thinking. Ask the students to comments on their experiences of applying the taxonomy in this way, answering such prompting questions as:

  • How does Bloom’s Taxonomy help you to think about thinking?

1.  Happiness Part 1: status anxiety
2.  Happiness Part 2: religion and happiness
3.  Happiness Part 3: what is happiness?
4.  Morality Part 1: what is morality?
5.  Morality Part 2: should we live by ‘moral laws’?
6.  Morality Part 3: where does our sense of morality come from?
7.  Are You Religious?
8.  What Is a Religion and what is a Cult?
9.  What does it Mean to be Religious Today?
10. Religion in Numbers Part 1: how many people on Earth?
11. Religion in Numbers Part 2: how many people are ‘religious’?
12. Religion in Numbers Part 3: how did believers got to where they are?
13. Are All Religions Equal?
14. Transactional Analysis: learning how to feel equal
15. Bloom’s Taxonomy
16. Harry Potter and God
17. Without Fear or Favour Part 1
18. Without Fear or Favour Part 2
19. It’s Not Fair
20. Mind, Memory and Justice
21. Karma, Memory, Freedom and Justice
22. The Religion of Ordinary Life Part 1: Religion Without God
23. The Religion of Ordinary Life Part 2: God and Morality
24. The Religion of Ordinary Life Part 3: Is Life Beautiful?
25. Can Atheists learn anything from Religion?
26. What do Buddhists Believe about God?
27. Is Seeing Believing?
28. Are We Being Hypnotised?
29. Sex and Relationships
30. Truth, Proof and Evidence
31. How should we deal with the range of different opinions in today’s world?
32. Is Religion a Force for Evil or Good?
33. Do Religious Experiences Prove God?
34. What Is Evil?
35. God and Evil
36. Can we verify Religious Experiences?
37. How Spiritual are You?
38. What is Philosphy?
39. The Power of Words
40. Art and Beauty

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

© Sea of Faith 2018

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