Educator of the Week: Benjamin Bloom

Benjamin Bloom, born in Lansford, Pennsylvania, was born on February 21, 1913. He loved to read and would research everything. In 1935, he received his degrees, bachelor’s and master’s, from Pennslyvania State University. Later in 1942, he received a Ph.D in education from University of Chicago.

Bloom primarily focused on the theory of mastery learning and classification of educational objectives. Bloom created a taxonomy of educational objectives, classifying different skills and learning objectives. He divided educational objectives into three specific domains which were affective, psychomotor, and cognitive. These domains were hierarchical which meant that the skills had to be learned at lower levels to understand the learning at higher levels.

Bloom’s work is important because it made educators realize that they had to change the quality of their instruction and the learning environment they’re giving the students. This led to teachers categorizing questions and content at different levels of education. He also helped with the discovery that access to better opportunities would lead to more willing and prepared to learn students compared tothose who didn’t have the same opportunities. For example, a student who has a home environment where they can read tons and have a good vocabulary would be ready to learn compared a student who didn’t have the same opportunities when they were younger. This was later acknowledged as the “knowledge gap”.

Overall, this allowed for educators to rethink their processes of how to teach someone and better prepared them to assess students.