Remembering and Understanding

As I mentioned in my last post I have replaced my use of Bloom’s Taxonomy with the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. But either way – whether you still call the bottom two levels Knowledge and Comprehension or Remembering and Understanding — when writing questions I consider the transition between these two levels the most important transition up the hierarchy. Why? Because there is a huge leap between Remembering and Understanding. The former implies mere memorization, the latter a much deeper level of cognitive processing.

For example:

Remembering: What year was the Berlin Wall built?

Understanding: Why was the Berlin Wall built?

Remembering: What were the names of the two scientists who first discovered the structure of DNA?

Understanding: What is the function of DNA?

Remembering: What is the speed of light?

Understanding: In physics, what is the importance of the speed of light?

Not that your learners shouldn’t know facts. Facts can be important. But I’m sure you get the point:  Mere facts without understanding are not very meaningful.

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