How We Learn

How We Learn


When I’m not working for my clients, I’m working for my students.  For the past 4 years, I’ve been an adjunct professor at CUNY Baruch College in NYC.  As a rookie teacher with no prior experience or training of any kind, I had to create my own syllabus and lesson plans.  I had to fly the plane while building it. But I knew that, based on my own educational experience, I learned best by applying the concepts to real-life examples. It always provided the greatest level of understanding.

Little had I known then, but I was applying a proven theory: Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy has provided the foundation for academics, teachers and trainers of all kind, in the preparation of learning. In short, Bloom’s theory is as follows:

Knowledge > Understanding > Application > Analysis > Synthesis > Evaluation

  • Knowledge: attaining and memorization of facts.
  • Understanding: ability to compare, contrast, interpret, distinguish.
  • Application: applying the knowledge to different circumstances and in different ways.
  • Analysis: ability to break down information into parts to identify motives, make inferences or finding evidence to further support.
  • Synthesis: ability to compile and reinterpret knowledge in a different way.
  • Evaluation: can defend, critique opinions and attitudes by making sound judgments based on validity of information.

Coincidentally enough, this same process is what we aim to take our potential consumers on for our brands. Think about it; we aim to build awareness or build knowledge; provide a level of understanding of why our brand is better or what our brand does; empower the consumer to apply the benefits to his/her life; make an informed decision via analysis of the options and peer reviews; synthesize the information to make an informed decision; and finally, evaluate the purchase to hopefully make positive critique.

So next time we’re building a campaign, maybe we should think about our consumers as students rather than just a potential customer.

Because as Plato so eloquently stated: Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.