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Critical and Creative Thinking – Bloom’s Taxonomy

What are critical thinking and creative thinking?

What’s Bloom’s taxonomy and how is it helpful in project planning?

How are the domains of learning reflected in technology-rich projects?

Benjamin Bloom (1956) developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior in learning. This taxonomy contained three overlapping domains: the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Within the cognitive domain, he identified six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These domains and levels are still useful today as you develop the critical thinking skills of your students.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning including skills such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and critiquing.

Creative thinking involves creating something new or original. It involves the skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships. The aim of creative thinking is to stimulate curiosity and promote divergence.

While critical thinking can be thought of as more left-brain and creative thinking more right brain, they both involve “thinking.” When we talk about HOTS “higher-order thinking skills” we’re concentrating on the top three levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Knowledge

collect
describe
identify
list
show
tell
tabulate
define
examine
label
retell
name
state
quote
enumerate
match
read
record
reproduce
copy
select

 

Examples: dates, events, places, vocabulary, key ideas, parts of diagram, 5Ws

Comprehension

associate
compare
distinguish
extend
interpret
predict
differentiate
contrast
describe
discuss
estimate
group
summarize
order
cite
convert
explain
paraphrase
restate
trace

Examples: find meaning, transfer, interpret facts, infer cause & consequence, examples

Application

apply
classify
change
illustrate
solve
demonstrate
calculate
complete
solve
modify
show
experiment
relate
discover
act
administer
articulate
chart
collect
compute
construct
determine
develop
establish
prepare
produce
report
teach
transfer
use

Examples: use information in new situations, solve problems

Analysis

analyze
arrange
connect
divide
infer
separate
classify
compare
contrast
explain
select
order
breakdown
correlate
diagram
discriminate
focus
illustrate
infer
outline
prioritize
subdivide
points out
prioritize

Examples: recognize and explain patterns and meaning, see parts and wholes

Synthesis

combine
compose
generalize
modify
invent
plan
substitute
create
formulate
integrate
rearrange
design
speculate
rewrite
adapt
anticipate
collaborate
compile
devise
express
facilitate
reinforce
structure
substitute
intervene
negotiate
reorganize
validate

Examples: discuss “what if” situations, create new ideas, predict and draw conclusions

Evaluation

assess
compare
decide
discriminate
measure
rank
test
convince
conclude
explain
grade
judge
summarize
support
appraise
criticize
defend
persuade
justify
reframe

Examples: make recommendations, assess value and make choices, critique ideas

Resources on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview from Family Education Network’s TeacherVision

Learning Skills Program: Bloom’s Taxonomy from University of Victoria – This page lists the six levels of the cognitive domain with examples.

Critical Thinking

Free Brainstorming Training from Infinite Innovations Ltd – Learn basic and advanced techniques for brainstorming.

Mission: Critical from San Jose State University – This website provides an advanced look at critical thinking and specifically analysis of arguments and persuasion.

Examples and Applications of Critical Thinking

Evaluating Primary Sources from Library of Congress’s American Memory – This website does a great job providing an example of using Bloom’s Taxonomy for evaluating primary resource materials.

Layered Curriculum by K.F. NunleyThe Layered Curriculum approach focuses on increasing levels of complexity. Explore some of the many examples.

Creative Thinking

Creativity Links by C. Osborne – This page links to great resources on creative thinking.

Edward de Bono’s Methods & Concepts of Lateral Thinking – This page provides an overview of deBono’s ideas about creativity.

Introduction to Creative Thinking by R. Harris from VirtualSalt – This page compares critical and creative thinking and discusses the myths of creative thinking.

Tutorial on Creativity, Brainstorming and Innovation from Infinite Innovations Ltd. – This tutorial provides basic information about creativity, brainstorming, and innovation. It also provides ideas and activities.

Creativity Pool – This is a database of creative and original ideas. Submit your own or check to see if someone else has thought of the same thing.


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