Benjamin Bloom (1956) developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior in learning. This taxonomy contained three overlapping domains: the cognitive, psycho-motor, and affective. Within the cognitive domain, he identified six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. These levels were revised in the 1990's. These domains and levels are still useful today as you develop the critical thinking skills of your students.
Bloom's Taxonomy Pyramid (below) showing the highest level of thinking at the top and working its way down. Note that "Creating" is the majority of thinking done in the fine arts. Evaluating and analyzing comes from art criticism, applying is using what you learn in your art. Understanding is understanding the various art styles, periods, and using that in your art. Finally, remembering the art elements and principles of design.
Previously, Blooms Taxonomy was listed as evaluation, synthesis, analysis, application, comprehension, and knowledge. A student of Bloom's, Lorin Anderson, updated the taxonomy in the 1990's. Lorin's team represented cognitive psychologists, researchers, and assessment specialists. They spent six years finalizing their work.
Attributes of the ARTS and higher level thinking:
• Creative problem solving/Thinking outside the box
See It's the Thought that Counts [Archive] - A copy of a handout from Craig Roland's session on “Teaching Thinking in the Art Classroom” presented at the National Art Education Association Conference in New York on March 16, 2001. Has links to two PDF files linked on that page.