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Benjamin Bloom

Page history last edited by Charmaine Landrum 9 years, 2 months ago

Benjamin Bloom

Giving All Students the Chance to Achieve High Goals

Charmaine Landrum

Historical Context of Work

-Born in Pennsylvania in 1913

-Died in Chicago in 1999

-Bloom was an avid reader growing up.  He remembered everything he read and was so quick that he would check out a book and bring it back in the afternoon.  His librarian made him convince her that he had actually completed the books. 

-Bloom was a handball champion in college

-Bloom loved his wife and two sons.  He taught his children to play handball, ping pong, chess, to write, and invent (Anonymous, 2008).

Education and Influences

-Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1935

-PhD. From University of Chicago in 1942. 

-He became a staff member of Board of Examination at University of Chicago (1940-1943).  After that he became a university examiner (until 1959). 

-He also advised several international governments in Education including Israel and India (Anonymous, 1999a, 2008).

-Bloom studied Washburn’s (1922) Winnetka Plan and Morrison’s (1926) Lab experiments  to come up with the best ‘one-on-one’ tutoring methods in order to transfer them to the larger classroom (Guskey, 2005). 

Bloom studied learning strategies from successful students using Dollard and Miller (1950).  He used this to help all students learn successfully (Guskey, 2005).

Work Life

-Mastery Learning- reduce variations in student achievement, while not making all the students the same. 

-Talent Development- with hard work most students can achieve high goals. 

-Proposed three domains of learning:

  • Cognitive: knowledge or mental skills
  • Affective: Attitudes or emotions and feelings
  • Psychomotor: Skills in the physical realm (Anonymous, 1999a)

-Taxonomy of Educational Objectives- In the cognitive domain there are levels of learning and teaching.  From the bottom stair step they are:

Knowledge or recall of data- recall learned material.  

Comprehension- explain, restate, translate, interpret, extrapolate, grasp meaning.

Application- use the material in a new situation, application appropriately.

Analysis- show relationships, break apart into new ideas.

Synthesis-put ideas together to create something new, innovations.

     Evaluation – highest level of cognitive thinking, judge worth, review, assert evidence, make judgments (Kinnes, 2011).

Impact on Best Practices

-Bloom taught us to view education as an exercise in optimism.

-Bloom provided a model of an inquiring scholarly student, to be used by all students, not just the most “gifted”. 

-Bloom made education into a process of effort and realizing human potential.   

-His studies paved the way for, and inspired many others

Problems or Failures

-Some disagree that formative tests should be used instead of summative tests

Other Interesting Facts

-Bloom believed that physical and mental characteristics of adults could be predicted in children through testing.  Also on child development, he believed the home environment in early life was very important.

-Bloom studied children in the United States and abroad to show that virtually all children could learn at high levels (Anonymous, 1999b).

-Bloom believed that assessments should be used as learning tools not grades (Guskey, 2005).

-Bloom studied athletes, musicians and famous people to see how long it should take to gain recognition nationally.  He concluded ten years nationally and fifteen years internationally.

Impact on Others

-Elliot W. Eisner said that, “The field of education, and more important, the lives of many children and adolescents are better off because of the contributions he made”(Anonymous, 2008).

-He has impacted students in their learning, teachers in their teaching, and graduate students and researchers in their research.



Anonymous. (1999a, July 5, 2010). Bloom's taxonomy of learning domains  Retrieved June 12, 2011, from       http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html

Anonymous. (1999b). Bloom, influential education researcher. The University of Chicago Chronicle, 19.             Retrieved from http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/990923/bloom.shtml

Anonymous. (2008, April 2008). Benjamin bloom  Retrieved June 12, 2011, from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Special:Cite?page=Benjamin_Bloom

Guskey, T. R. (2005, April 2005). Formative classroom assessment and Benjamin S. Bloom: theory, research, and implications. Paper. Lexington.

Kinnes, T. (2011). Benjamin bloom and taxonomy of learning  Retrieved June 12, 2011, from http://oaks.nvg.org/taxonomy-bloom.html#a




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