I have been thinking about thinking, and found this useful taxonomy by Benjamin Bloom, who in 1956 devised a taxonomy to discriminate between levels of cognitive thinking. The article notes that although the original intention of the taxonomy was to facilitate communication between educators and psychologists in the area of test construction, research and curriculum development, it has been found to be useful in distinguishing areas of study and classroom activities based on the taxonomy.
Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of six levels:
Recall or recognition of specific information
Understanding of information given
Using methods, concepts, principles and theories in new situations
Breaking information down into its constituent elements
Putting together constituent elements or parts to form a whole requiring original, creative thinking.
Judging the value of ideas, materials, and methods by developing and applying standards and criteria
There’s a path from the lower-to-higher level thinking, knowledge to evaluation which can be led by teachers through the use questioning, discussion and tasks.
The article also notes that while students need to be exposed to experiences at all levels of the Taxonomy, opportunities to work at more advanced levels are vital for gifted students. Often their advanced knowledge and comprehension skills enable them to progress more rapidly to higher levels of thinking, such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation.