Domains Of Learning
The Three Levels of the Mind
Learning is everywhere. We can learn mental skills, develop our attitudes and acquire new physical skills as we perform the activities of our daily living. These domains of learning can be categorized as cognitive domain (knowledge), psychomotor domain (skills) and affective domain (attitudes). This categorization is best explained by the Taxonomy of Learning Domains formulated by a group of researchers led by Benjamin Bloom in 1956.
A. Cognitive Domain
The cognitive domain involves the development of our mental skills and the acquisition of knowledge. The six categories under this domain are:
- Knowledge: the ability to recall data and/or information.
Example: A child recites the English alphabet.
- Comprehension: the ability to understand the meaning of what is known.
Example: A teacher explains a theory in his own words.
- Application: the ability to utilize an abstraction or to use knowledge in a new situation.
Example: A nurse intern applies what she learned in her Psychology class when she talks to patients.
- Analysis: the ability to differentiate facts and opinions.
Example: A lawyer was able to win over a case after recognizing logical fallacies in the reasoning of the offender.
- Synthesis: the ability to integrate different elements or concepts in order to form a sound pattern or structure so a new meaning can be established.
Examples: A therapist combines yoga, biofeedback and support group therapy in creating a care plan for his patient.
- Evaluation: the ability to come up with judgments about the importance of concepts.
Examples: A businessman selects the most efficient way of selling products.
B. Affective Domain
The affective domain involves our feelings, emotions and attitudes. This domain is categorized into 5 subdomains, which include:
- Receiving Phenomena: the awareness of feelings and emotions as well as the ability to utilize selected attention.
Example: Listening attentively to a friend.
- Responding to Phenomena: active participation of the learner.
Example: Participating in a group discussion.
- Valuing: the ability to see the worth of something and express it.
Example: An activist shares his ideas on the increase in salary of laborers.
- Organization: ability to prioritize a value over another and create a unique value system.
Example: A teenager spends more time in her studies than with her boyfriend.
- Characterization: the ability to internalize values and let them control the person`s behaviour.
Example: A man marries a woman not for her looks but for what she is.
C. Psychomotor Domain
The psychomotor domain is comprised of utilizing motor skills and coordinating them. The seven categories under this include:
- Perception: the ability to apply sensory information to motor activity.
Example: A cook adjusts the heat of stove to achieve the right temperature of the dish.
- Set: the readiness to act.
Example: An obese person displays motivation in performing planned exercise.
- Guided Response: the ability to imitate a displayed behavior or to utilize trial and error.
Example: A person follows the manual in operating a machine.
- Mechanism: the ability to convert learned responses into habitual actions with proficiency and confidence.
Example: A mother was able to cook a delicious meal after practicing how to cook it.
- Complex Overt Response: the ability to skilfully perform complex patterns of actions.
Example: Typing a report on a computer without looking at the keyboard.
- Adaptation: the ability to modify learned skills to meet special events.
Example: A designer uses plastic bottles to create a dress.
- Origination: creating new movement patterns for a specific situation.
Example: A choreographer creates a new dance routine.
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