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Bloom's taxonomy

Bloom provided us with a very useful taxonomy of learning. Students can understand a concept in economics at any one of six levels of complexity. He defined these six levels as follows (from lowest- to highest-order):


  1. Knowledge
  2. Comprehension
  3. Application
  4. Analysis
  5. Synthesis
  6. Evaluation

Knowledge is a simple definition of a given concept. The level of sophistication in understanding rises as we move up the list, with evaluation of the concept the most sophisticated.

Our typical economics class does not weight these equally in terms of attention; in fact, we can think of these in terms of Bloom's pyramid Bloom\'s Pyramid - Controlled Rent Apartments (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB Apr6 09). We can illustrate this by considering the fundamental economic concept of shortage. Bloom\'s Pyramid (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB Apr6 09)

Source: as reported in Grondlund, Stating Instructional Objectives for Classroom Instruction, 1985