Blooms Taxonomy

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists. Together they developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior thought to be important in the processes of learning. Bloom found that over 95 % of the test questions students encounter require them to think only at the lowest possible level...the recall of information.

Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. 

Knowledge: remembering of previously learned material; recall (facts or whole theories); bringing to mind. Terms: defines, describes, identifies, lists, matches, names.
Comprehension: grasping the meaning of material; interpreting (explaining or summarizing); predicting outcome and effects (estimating future trends). Terms: convert, defend, distinguish, estimate, explain, generalize, rewrite.
Application: ability to use learned material in a new situation; apply rules, laws, methods, theories. Terms: changes, computes, demonstrates, operates, shows, uses, solves.
Analysis: breaking down into parts; understanding organization, clarifying, concluding. Terms: distinguish, diagrams, outlines, relates, breaks down, discriminates, subdivides.
Synthesis: ability to put parts together to form a new whole; unique communication; set of abstract relations. Terms: combines, complies, composes, creates, designs, rearranges.
Evaluation: ability to judge value for purpose; base on criteria; support judgment with reason. (No guessing). Terms: appraises, criticizes, compares, supports, concludes, discriminates, contrasts, summarizes, explains

Links for further reading:

Critical Thinking across the Curriculum

Aim High! - teacher and student roles, process verbs, products

Blooms Thinking Handouts

Questioning Tool Kit -'From Now On' the Educational Technology Journal

Revised Bloom's Taxonomy - oz-Teacher Net