Knowledge expansion

Building on Bloom

Dr. Domenico Meschino would like us to take Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning to a new level in order to help us meet the needs of 21st Century learners.

Bloom and why it has been so useful

For decades, educators at the local, state, and national levels have used Bloom’s Taxonomy to classify educational goals and objectives, and ‘Bloom’ has become a widely accepted framework for designing, delivering, and assessing learning outcomes. It has focused on the learning process as hierarchical and thus given instructors and educators a point of reference for evaluating students’ learning journeys.

Bloom’s taxonomy has been hugely useful and has inspired a number of variations.  However, in the context of the revolutionary changes seen in the last 20 years, is it now enough? Not for some and as a result, a new model is now emerging to meet the needs of 21st Century teachers and learners: the Domenico Model of Logical Intelligence (DMLI).

Building on Bloom

Environments in which learning takes place are now constantly evolving and require learners to be adaptable and flexible as they learn. If we are to assess learning outcomes reliably and facilitate successful educational journeys in this 21st Century context, it is even more important to work with clear goals and objectives than it has ever been. Taking Bloom as his starting point, Dr. Domenico Meschino has done just that.

Traditionally, Bloom’s Taxonomy consists of six levels, starting with lower-order thinking skills like remembering and understanding, and progressing to higher-order skills such as evaluating and creating. For Dr. Meschino this linear approach is limiting. He has therefore sought to create a more dynamic and flexible framework. In his new model, levels are presented in an inverted rather than a conventional pyramid, with Knowledge at the base and Creating at the top. This represents the idea that the ultimate goal of learning is to create new knowledge and ideas, rather than simply retaining, interpreting or analysing existing knowledge.

The DLMI: not quite a hierarchy

In the DMLI, learning is not quite a hierarchical process. Thus, the Applying phase/approach is a skill embedded from the second stage all the way up to the Creation stage. Pattern  Recognition and Analysis are essential information processing stages and — unlike in Bloom — there is no differentiation between evaluating and analyzing. Analysis is categorized as an inherent stage of pattern breakdown. However, Creating is recognized by both Bloom and the DMLI as the last stage in the process when something new is created. The idea of ‘difficulty’ is also present in the DMLI, and is related to how information is assimilated, expanded, and created but it is more progressive and highlights the stages in which knowledge is used, applied and then expanded. The fact that Bloom’s pyramid representation has been inverted symbolizes the way knowledge and awareness have been expanded at higher cognitive levels.

How it works

So – how does this  Taxonomy for the 21st Century work and why might it be useful?

The first stage in DMLI is Knowledge, which is viewed as a phase of data acquisition and information assimilation that becomes part of the set of knowledge in the mental schema of the learner. Within each phase of the taxonomy, there are sub-categories at different levels of depth, each of which has its own subdivision of embedded skills and subskills. The three different typologies of knowledge embedded in this stage are factual, procedural, and conceptual.

The second level of the DMLI is Connecting. In this phase, knowledge is expanded to other areas and other fields of knowledge, leaving the realm of isolation and connecting with other similar constructs in other fields. Already at the Connecting stage, there is an embedded level of evaluation and analysis, and from this stage on, evolution and analysis represent the approach necessary to reach the higher levels of the Domenico Model of Logical Intelligence.

In the third level, Pattern Recognition, learners take a crucial step in the learning process. At this stage, learners begin to identify patterns in the data, make connections, and detect regularities. This ability is essential to processing information effectively and efficiently, as it allows learners to make sense of large amounts of information and draw meaningful conclusions. By honing their pattern recognition skills, learners can improve their ability to learn and retain knowledge.

The fourth level is Analysis, which involves breaking down patterns and identifying the underlying structures of the data.

The fifth and final level of the Domenico Model of Logical Intelligence is Creating, which is recognized by both Bloom’s Taxonomy and the DMLI as the last stage in the process as the new is created. This stage is crucial as it marks the culmination of the learning process where learners generate their ideas, solutions, and innovations based on the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the previous stages.


The DMLI has already attracted the attention of a group of professionals. Anthropologist and qualitative researcher Sonia Kahn thinks that the DMLI is simpler to understand than Bloom’s taxonomy and is directly relatable to her work as a data analyst. AI/ML Engineer and Data Scientist Tanzeela Sehar notes that the DMLI’s workflow is similar to that followed in data science, from data cleaning to visualization and creating models. Teacher and translator Rukiye Eryilmaz believes the DMLI could be an effective tool for teachers to help students reflect on the evolution of language and civilization. Behavioral health consultant Jenny Jacobsen, Ph.D., considers the DMLI a good alternative to Bloom’s Taxonomy and sees its potential use in educational psychology to improve teaching strategies.


Ultimately, the Domenico Model of Logical Intelligence is an enhanced 21st Century framework for understanding and assessing the learning process. The growing complexity of contemporary learning therefore makes the DMLI a useful resource for educators, instructors and learners who wish to understand and then assess the learning process in a way that is relevant to our times.

Domenico Meschino is a Teacher, Author, Social Scientist, Business Owner, based in Chicago.

If you are interested in finding out more about his work, please contact him on or see his website





FEATURE IMAGE: by Jorge Salvador on Unsplash

DMLI graphic:     with kind permission from Dr. Meschino

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