Monday, April 19, 2010

Educational Theory of the Week: Comprehension

I always seek different ways of explaining all this educational lingo. Browsing through different sites for more on Benjamin Bloom to continue Bloom's Taxonomy, I found this explanation for this educational theory

Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation. 

("Cognitive domain" by the way, just means classifications of ways to think and reason).

After covering knowledge last week, we are moving on with comprehension.  After you have basic knowledge, the next level is comprehension, which means to understand. (Do you see how understanding something is more difficult than just knowing something? That's why comprehension is harder than knowledge. So easy-just educational lingo mixed in).

To activate the comprehension section, a few questions you could ask are:

What happened after ___ happened in the story? (describe) 
Tell me what happened in the story we just read. (review)
Which color is peach and not pink? (identify)
Where was the ___ that we saw at the museum? (locate)

Other terms that include the comprehension level include: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate.

Application, to Za

Za is a one year old and so we don't do much talking through ideas together. We do, however, work on comprehension. She has a favorite book, and it is about body parts. We read the book frequently and even though we don't review it as is typical of reviewing books, we do discuss the ideas. Throughout the day, we recall/review or work on her comprehension of the ideas in the book. We talk about the face and all its parts, which is locating and recognizing. Dad and I ask lots of questions about where is and what is (as we point).


Comprehension is part of all of our lives, in that we must remember what we read and see. Some ideas are easier to comprehend than others, primarily because we enjoy those ideas. How can you incorporate comprehension into your child's every day life?