Bloom's Taxonomy, (in full: 'Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning Domains', or strictly speaking: Bloom's 'Taxonomy Of Educational Objectives') was initially (the first part) published in 1956 under the leadership of American academic and educational expert Dr Benjamin S Bloom. 'Bloom's Taxonomy' was originally created in and for an academic context, (the development commencing in 1948), when Benjamin Bloom chaired a committee of educational psychologists, based in American education, whose aim was to develop a system of categories of learning behaviour to assist in the design and assessment of educational learning.

Bloom identified three domains:

  • Cognitive domain
  • Affective domain
  • Psychomotor domain

It is the first of these three domains, the cognitive domain which most attracts learning theorists. The cognitive domain is split up into a structure which ranges from lower order to higher order tasks:

  • Recall data
  • Understand
  • Apply
  • Analyse
  • Synthesize
  • Evaluate

The concept of Higher Order Thinking (HOT) is often mentioned in the contexts of Constructivism and Metacognition. It is argued that knowledge has a decreasing half life and the lower order tasks of recalling and understanding have less relevance. Skills which can be transferred to new contexts, applying, analysing, synthesising and evaluating are much more likely to stay relevant.

Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) have adapted Bloom's model by employing more outcome-oriented language, workable objectives, and changing nouns to active verbs.

revised Bloom, including a digital taxonomy shared/printableArticle.php? articleID=196605124

Elements coloured in blue are new digital verbs


What is HOT, concretely? I think the phrase is used too much in the abstract. "Game making is HOT". This isn't going to persuade anyone to change their minds about anything.

I am starting to think that Blooms taxonomy is important having neglected it as "generalisation" for many years. Papert said something like, there is no point in discussing thinking unless we link it to what we are thinking about. When we talk about HOT, evaluation, synthesising, analysis I think it's more valuable and meaningful to spell it out in a personal, idiosyncratic manner (Bill Oct12)

We know what is not HOT, its not the rote memorisation of the principal exports of Peru or drill and practice multiplying 3 pounds seventeen shillings and sixpence by three. Activities which I look fondly back to and skills which I use daily in adult life. We recognise HOT when we are doing it, problem solving, hard thinking. It has a lot to do with cognitive conflict or dissonance. It has a lot to do with some kinds of flow, maybe not all kinds. Computer programmers are familiar with the HOT kind of flow. (Tony Oct12)