According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, the most basic level of cognition is knowledge. At this level, a person can define, duplicate, label, list, and memorize a concept. At the comprehension level, a person can use that memorized information in order to explain it to another person. Concepts can be illustrated at the application level. Individuals can further outline concepts and distinguish them from others through analysis. By synthesizing, an individual can organize two separate concepts to come up with an entirely new idea. At the top of the chart is evaluation, a key component in the inquiry process.
The first time I was exposed to Bloom’s Taxonomy was as a small child through our public school’s gifted program. Self-exploration and inquiry were encouraged by the program leader. In contrast, today’s public schools go no further than the first step – knowledge. I wonder what will become of our society. Our schools may have a No Child Left Behind policy, but that concept is only valid because everyone is being left behind. There is no more inquiry. Children in public schools are being told what to think about specific topics. Even if we could assume that the information they are being fed is correct, a very large assumption, that still leaves quite a bit of information to be left untouched and no critical thinking skills for children to uncover the information for themselves.