Assessment of a Reading Comprehension Instrument as It Relates to Cognitive Abilities as Defined by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy


  • Lorraine Dagostino University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • James Carifio University of Massachusetts at Lowell
  • Jennifer D. C. Bauer University of Massachusetts at Lowell
  • Qing Zhao University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Nor Hashimah Hashim Universiti Sains Malaysia


reading comprehension, cultural background, cognitive process, Bloom’s Revised Taxomony


More often than not, the assessment of literacy has focused upon how well readers attain various levels of reading comprehension or demonstrate proficiency with specific reading skills rather than reveal a readers cognitive abilities as reflected in conceptual frameworks such as Blooms Revised Taxonomy (Anderson, et al., 2001). Where tests of reading comprehension have classified test items by type for the purposes of item analysis, it usually is only by reading skill. The focus of this study is to change from this functional approach to one that examines how well, if at all, a test created in Malay, and translated into English, that was developed for primary and intermediate grade readers, may also be able to determine cognitive levels of understanding as described by Blooms Revised Taxonomy The Cognitive Dimension (Hashim et al., 2006). To accomplish this task, the raters evaluated the questions from both Malay tests using Blooms Revised Taxonomy of Cognitive Abilities. By using the Blooms Revised Taxonomy as a system of classification, the researchers were able to more accurately pinpoint the specific cognitive abilities being assessed by each test item. These findings suggested that classification by cognitive level allows one to measure specific cognitive abilities as defined by Blooms Revised Taxonomy. This is significant because Blooms Revised Taxonomy gives us objectives for classifying the learning, teaching and assessing of the cognitive dimension of thought that is central to instruction in most subject areas, and in relationship to our work in reading comprehension as an aspect of assessment of literacy in a way that differs from most current measures of reading comprehension

Author Biographies

Lorraine Dagostino, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Lorraine Dagostino is a professor at Graduate School of Education in the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research interests include literacy, critical thinking and evaluative reading, theoretical issues in reading and literacy, and literature issues.

Jennifer D. C. Bauer, University of Massachusetts at Lowell

Jennifer D. C. Bauer teaches digital media and visual art at Lowell High School, and English at the Phillips Academy, Andover Summer Session. Additionally, she is a doctoral student at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, pursuing her Ed.D. in Language Arts & Literacy. Her research interests include Visual Arts and Literacy, Digital/New Literacies, Language Variation, Urban Education, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.


Qing Zhao, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Qing Zhao recently earned her Ed.D. in Language Arts & Literacy from the Graduate School of Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2013. Her research interests currently include the study of teaching and learning English as a foreign/second language (EFL/ESL) and development of EFL/ESL learners' language proficiency in both North American and Asian learning context.

Nor Hashimah Hashim, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Nor Hashimah Hashim is a professor of education at the Universiti Sains Malaysia Her research interests include preschool education, primary school education, and curriculum studies




How to Cite

Dagostino, L., Carifio, J., Bauer, J. D. C., Zhao, Q., & Hashim, N. H. (2014). Assessment of a Reading Comprehension Instrument as It Relates to Cognitive Abilities as Defined by Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. Current Issues in Education, 17(1). Retrieved from