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Bloom's Taxonomy vs. The Six Facets of Understanding

Bloom's Taxonomy



Blooms rose.svg
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Bloom's Taxonomy as a wheel"Bloom's Taxonomy as a wheel" by dougbelshaw is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Bloom's Taxonomy"Bloom's Taxonomy" by Vandy CFT is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Six Facets of Understanding

Performance Verbs Based on the Six Facets of Understanding (Word)


Educational Postcard: 'Six facets of understanding' -Wiggins and McTighe"Educational Postcard: 'Six facets of understanding' -Wiggins and McTighe" by Ken Whytock is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


  1. Although one could argue that some have attempted to shift away from a hierarchical framework, Bloom's taxonomy still is rooted in the fact that some thought processes occur before others (i.e., remembering comes before applying, etc.) (Wikipedia). In contrast, the term understanding - which is the objective of any educative experience - is considered by degree; that is, the more learners can express themselves employing the six different facets, the more they understand a concept. For example, a learner who can apply, build, create, produce, use, and adapt (performance verbs that apply only to one facet - apply) has less of an understanding than a learner who can predict (explain), illustrate (interpret), and relate (empathy). 
  2. Bloom's taxonomy is more deterministic in nature in that terms are seen more as behavioral objectives established in the planning stages before implementing the educative experience. In contrast, the six facets of understanding are designed more as a way to evaluate a performance by framing the learning objectives as being more expressive or emergent. The instructor might anticipate certain facets during the planning stage but also accept other facets (performance verbs) that were unanticipated. Authentic educative experiences tend to be more complex and less reductionistic.


Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. ASCD

Wikipedia Permalink, Bloom's Taxonomy