Taxonomy of Learning Objectives

With educational taxonomy, learning is classified into three domains namely: (1) cognitive, (2) affective, and (3) psychomotor.


Benjamin Bloom (1956) led his group in coming up with the list of instructional objectives in the cognitive domain. Arranged from lowest to the highest level. they are as follows:

  • Knowledge or recall — knowledge of terminology and, conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria and methodologies, principles, theories, and structures; e.g to identify the capital of the Philippines
  • Comprehension — relate to translation, interpretation, and extrapolation; e.g. to interpret a table showing the population density of the world
  • Application — use of abstractions in particular situations; e.g. to predict the probable effect of a change in temperature on a chemical
  • Analysis — objectives relate to breaking a whole into parts; e.g to deduce facts from a hypothesis
  • Synthesis — putting parts together in a new form such as a unique communication, a plan of operation, and a set of abstract relations; e.g. to produce an original piece of art
  • Evaluation — judging in term so internal evidence or logical consistency and external evidence or consistency with facts developed elsewhere; eg. to recognize fallacies in an argument


David Krathwohl (1964) and associates like wise came up with instructional . objectives related to interests, attitudes and feelings — the affective domain. These include objectives from the lowest to the highest level:

  • Receiving — awareness, willingness to receive, selective attention e.g. to listen attentively during group presentational
  • Responding — acquiescence, willing response, feelings of satisfac-tion; e.g. to contribute to group discussions by asking questions
  • Valuing — acceptance, preference, commitment; e.g. to argue over an issue involving health care
  • Organization — conceptualiza ‘on of values, organization of a value system; e.g. organize a meeting concerning a neighborhood’s housing integration plan.
  • Characterization – generalized set of values, characterization or philosophy of life; e.g. to join a rally in behalf of a noble cause


Anita Harlow (1972) did something parallel to what Bloom and Krathwohl did for learning objectives in the psychomotor domain. Below is her list of objectives in the psychomotor domain:

  • Reflex movements — relate to reflexes; e.g. to contract a muscle Fundamental movements – relate to walking, running, jumping, pushing, pulling, manipulating; e.g. to run a 100-yard dash
  • Perceptual abilities – objectives relate to kinesthetic, visual, auditory, tactile, and coordination abilities; e.g. to distinguish distant and close sounds
  • Physical abilities — relate to endurance, strength, flexibility, agility, reaction-response time, dexterity; e.g. to do five sit ups
  • Skilled movements — objectives relate to games, sports, dances, and the arts; e.g. to dance the basic steps of the waltz
  • Nondiscursive communication — expressive movements through posture, gestures, facial expressions, creative movements; e.g. to act a part in a play. (Harlow, 1972)

Moore divides learning in the psychomotor domain into three levels — (1) imitation, (2) manipulation, and (3) precision. At the entry level, imitation, a student can carry out the rudiments of the skills with instructional support from the teacher. Most typically, this level follows modeling by the teacher and involves the student’s first attempts to perform the skill. The skill is not performed smoothly, nor are the coordination and timing refined. Examples of students perform-ing at the imitation level include a student is able to perform the skill independently, without the aid of the instructor. During this phase of psychomotor learning, the student who is able to perform the skill without prompts from the teacher or without consciously thinking about it. However, complete fluency or accuracy has not been achieved.

At the level of precision — the highest level of the psychomotor taxonomy — students can perform a skill accurately, efficiently, and effortlessly. Automaticity, the ability to perform a skill with unconscious effort, has developed, which then frees the student to concentrate on other elements of the activity or game. Examples of precision-level skills include: different notes with different levels of volume and pitch, without consciously looking at her fingers.