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The Cognitive Domain


" The cognitive domain has to do with those school activities which might be otherwise described as intellectual. In this domain are knowledge, comprehension/understanding, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. In general, teaching should be directed to the areas of application, analysis , synthesis and evaluation rather than towards only the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, although, of course, the gaining of knowledge is a pre-requisite to the performance of the higher level achievements.

This domain relates to objectives concerned with knowledge and intellectual skills. The six levels from the simplest to the most complex are as follows:

  1. Knowledge: Recalling specific and general items of information and also information about methods, processes and patterns.

  2. Comprehension: Recognition of items of information settings similar to but different from those in which they were first encountered.

  3. Application: Explaining previously unseen data or events by applying knowledge from other situations.

  4. Analysis: Breaking down blocks of information into elements for the purpose of clarification.

  5. Synthesis: Combining elements to form coherent units of information.

  6. Evaluation: Making judgements about the value of information, materials or methods for given purposes. "

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The Affective Domain


" The affective domain includes objectives which describe changes in interest, attitudes and values, and the development of appreciations and adequate adjustment. This domain has a pattern of development similar to the cognitive domain. At the lowest level, the child is merely aware of the fact that other people have particular attitudes and values. As children progress through personal experience, they slowly develop affective ideas which are uniquely their own. Again, it is felt that teaching should be directed towards this end rather than merely indoctrinating the child with the attitudes and values held by the teacher. Although some people would hold that there are some values which must be indoctrinated - respect for others' rights, honesty etc. - there is a school of thought which would seek to have these attitudes and values achieved by the child without this approach, through a process of development and clarification.

This domain relates to objectives concerned with interest, attitudes and values. The five levels of the affective domain from the simplest to the most complex are as follows:

  1. Receiving: Sensitivity to certain stimuli and a willingness to receive or attend to them.

  2. Responding: Involvement in a subject or activity or event to the extent of seeking it out, working with it or engaging in it.

  3. Valuing: Commitment to or conviction in certain goals, ideas or beliefs.

  4. Organisation: Organisation of values into a system, awareness of relevance of and relations between appropriate values and the establishment of dominant personal values.

  5. Characterisation by a Value Complex: Integration of beliefs, ideas and attitudes into a total philosophy of world view."

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The Psychomotor Domain


" The psychomotor domain includes physical and motor (or muscular) skills. This means much more than the gaining of skills in games and physical education. Every act has a psychomotor component. For instance, writing and talking are psychomotor skills which must be acquired if the child is to function successfully in our society. In the learning situation there is again a progression from mere physical experience - seeing, touching, moving etc. - through the carrying out of complex skills under guidance, to the performance of skilled activities independently.

The six levels from simplest to most complex are:

  • Reflex Movements: Reflex movements are defined as involuntary motor responses to stimuli. They form the basis for all behaviour involving movement of any kind.

  • Basic Fundamental Movements: Basic fundamental movements are defined as those inherent body movement patterns, which build upon the foundation laid by reflex movements. They usually occur during the first year of life, and unfold rather than are taught or consciously acquired. These movements involve movement patterns which change a child from a stationary to an ambulatory learner.

  • Perceptual Abilities: Perceptual abilities are really inseparable from motor movements. They help learners to interpret stimuli so that they can adjust to their environment. Superior motor activities depend upon the development of perception. They involve kinaesthetic discrimination, visual discrimination, auditory discrimination and co-ordinated abilities of eye and hand, eye and foot.

  • Physical abilities: Physical abilities are essential to efficient motor activity. They are concerned with the vigor of the person, and allow the individual to meet the demands placed upon him or her in and by the environment.

  • Skilled Movements: Skilled movements are defined as any efficiently performed complex movement. They require learning and should be based upon some adaptation of the inherent patterns of movement described in level number two above.

  • Non-Discursive Communication: Non-discursive communication can be defined as comprising those behaviours which are involved in movement communication. They can range from facial expressions to highly sophisticated dance choreographics as in classical ballet. "

[Source: Planning for Pre-Service Primary Teachers   Prof Experience Unit, Fac of Education, QUT, Qld, 1998 (pp11-13)]