In 2015, The Washington Post revealed that a typical (public school) student in the United States takes about 112 standardized tests between pre-kindergarten and graduation. Many educators, as a result of so much testing, have worked to make their students aware of standards. Cognitive and affective standards, in particular, provide powerful ways to make sure all students achieve the success they need not only in their classrooms, but in life. These standards, formed from Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains, do a great job of addressing learning as a process. Content developers and educators need to be aware of these processes and domains so that they may craft standards to measure student growth.
Cognitive standards stem from the Cognitive Domain. This domain encompasses how students learn through acquisition, process, and use of knowledge. The pyramid below is a great resource for content developers to use in order to determine the rigor of their content. Developers must also pay attention to verbs in the chart, when designing standards for the lesson, in order to make sure their assessments will accurately check the level of knowledge indicated by the standard.
Exhibit memory of previously learned material by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts, and answers.
Choose, List, Find, Match, Define, Relate, Label, Tell, Show, Recall, Select
Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating main ideas.
Extend, Rephrase, Contrast, Illustrate, Translate, Demonstrate, Infer, Summarize, Interpret, Outline, Show, Explain
Solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques, and rules in a different way.
Apply, Construct, Plan, Utilize, Build, Develop, Organize, Select, Model, Choose, Solve, Identify
Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations.
Analyze, Compare, Dissect, Infer, Categorize, Classify, Distinguish
Present and defend opinions by making judgements about information, validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria.
Award, Conclude, Rate, Prioritize, Appraise, Criticize, Judge, Recomend, Agree, Justify
Put elements together to form a functional whole.
Assemble, Build, Combine, Create, Design, Produce
Affective standards stem from the Affective Domain, which deals with attitudes, values, and emotions. Using these standards, teachers can work to promote a growth mindset among their students and develop lifestyle habits that go beyond the classroom. View the chart below, in order of increasing complexity, to review the levels within this area and the verbs with which the standards begin.
Awareness, Willingness to hear
Ask, Choose, Describe, Follow, Give, Hold, Identify, Locate, Name, Reply
Active participation in learning process
Answer, Aid, Compile, Tell, Write, Present, Read, Recite
The value that one attaches to a behavior, subject, etc.
Explain, Follow, Join, Study, Work
Comparing, synthesizing, and ordering values
Identify, Integrate, Organize, Synthesize, Compare, Defend, Modify, Order
Has a value system that controls their behavior
Influence, Act, Perform, Question, Solve, Verify, Practice, Listen, Discriminate, Qualify
By keeping these types of standards in mind (and the levels within them), educators and content developers can carefully scaffold their materials and instruction to allow students to succeed.