A very well-known classification of learning, Bloom’s Taxonomy is being used by various educators while creating a curriculum as a way of defining the levels of cognitive thinking skills that they want the students to exhibit while learning for a specific material. Usually higher order thinking skills such as analysis and applications are usually tied to more upper division curriculum, while lower order thinking skills such as knowledge and comprehension are found in objectives of lower-division courses.
For Bloom’s Taxonomy, critical thinking skills form an integral part of the thinking classification level. Learning is divided into three different domains, which are cognitive that includes reading, writing and math college textbooks subjects; the affective in which feelings, motivation and values are included; and the psychomotor that includes physical education. This simply states that it is a categorization of the levels of learning and also the thought process.
Bloom’s Taxonomy defines higher order thinking skills as those that require analysis, synthesis as well as evaluation. Any individual that exhibits cognitive skills of this level would categorize information, comparing and contrasting it in order to make a decision. Designing, evaluating, developing, creating are some other characteristics of higher order thinking. A student that is categorized in an upper division course should be able to demonstrate all these cognitive skills while thinking and reasoning through problems.
Critical thinking skills are considered to be an integral part of both higher and low order thinking as defined by Bloom. Skills to generate information and using those skills to guide behavior are two most important components of critical thinking. As a matter of fact, in order to make an informed decision, it requires the thinker to undergo six levels of cognitive thinking as defined by Bloom Taxonomy, which includes comprehension, knowledge, analysis, application, evaluation and synthesis.
However, there are also some universal misconceptions about critical thinking as for some people it is believed to be a negative process that tears down ideas, but it is actually a process that simply puts down ideas into perspectives. It involves more of thinking, which ensures that commitments and decisions are informed ones, which cannot be undertaken by simply mugging up the lessons in college textbooks. It is a process that frees a thinker from past assumptions and self-doubt.