Teaching and Learning in the Affective Domain

  1. 3

    The affective domain describes a person's emotional attributes. As educators, why should we be concerned with the affective domain and how can these factors impact teaching and learning?

    Teaching and Learning in the Affective Domain

    Bloom divided the process of learning into three broad hierarchical domains, or taxonomies. The three parts are not clear-cut, but overlap and interrelate.

    • Cognitive domain – intellectual ability, reasoning.
    • Affective domain – feelings, attitudes, and motivation.
    • Psychomotor domain – physical aptitude, manual dexterity, motor performance skills.

    The affective domain describes a very complex type of emotional intelligence, encompassing attitudes, self-esteem, motivation, perceptions, feelings, and beliefs. It is distinguished from cognition and psychomotor skills, yet intimately related. Every cognitive and psychomotor behavior has an affective component. Many parts of the brain are involved.

    Cognitive learning and retention of content are strongly impacted (either reinforced or hindered) by attitudes, motivation, and values. Affective attributes, therefore, are an important part of the teaching/learning process.

    The affective domain is classified into five hierarchical levels of emotional commitment: receiving, responding, valuing, organizing, and characterizing.

    Receiving (the lowest level) – being aware, passively open to experience, willing to pay attention. Without this foundational level, no learning can take place.

    Responding (the next level) – reacting in some way, active participation in learning process, some commitment and behavior change.

    Valuing (third level) – showing some definite commitment to certain ideas, attaching values, supporting.

    Organizing (fourth level) – incorporating new values into one's personal value system, ranking and prioritizing values.

    Characterizing (the highest level) – consistently demonstrating behaviors in accordance with new internalized values, embracing a belief system to such a degree that the new values become "characteristic" of the learner.

    Learning in the affective domain must be nurtured on a long-term basis through a profession's socialization process. This type of learning facilitates the development of professional identity, judgment, and critical thinking, which in turn promotes high standards of performance.

    More on the three learning domains and their implications for nurse educators to follow...


    Bloom's Taxonomy – learning domains

    Teaching methods in the affective domain

    Teaching and learning in affective domain

    Learning theories and instructional strategies

    Krathwohl's Taxonomy of affective domain

    Krathwol et al.'s Taxonomy of the affective domain
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 8, '15
    Do you like this Article? Click Like?

  2. Visit VickyRN profile page

    About VickyRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,046; Likes: 6,493
    Nurse Educator; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds

    Read My Articles


  3. by   VickyRN
    The affective domain is very important for nurse educators because this is the domain in which a nursing student's professional identity is formed. It is also the domain in which professional values, such as the ANA Code of Ethics, are imparted.
    Last edit by VickyRN on May 26, '09
  4. by   blue_yuina
    nursing is all about caring with love and sincerity. I mean you'll go all your life being like that. Affective learning is very important in our profession...:smilecoffeeIlovecof:wshgrt::luvnltr:
  5. by   VickyRN
    Quote from blue_yuina
    Affective learning is very important in our profession...
    Excellent point, blue_yuina.