What to do about Bloom’s 2 sigma problem?

CEL 2SigmaBenjamin Bloom reported a research result about educational effectiveness in the journal ‘Education researcher’ (1984).

Bloom was looking at the performance of students and comparing conventional group tuition with mastery learning tuition and also with one to one tuition.

The results broadly showed how mastery learning techniques improved the average performance by 1 standard deviation and that one to one tuition improved average performance by 2 standard deviations compared to traditional teaching.

Bloom acknowledged that one to one tuition was prohibitively expensive to be undertaken on a wide scale.    Bloom suggested that changing 2 or 3 of the variables involved in teaching and learning could result in performance improvements similar to one to one.

His variables are:

  1. The learner
  2. The material
  3. The environment
  4. The tutor

Are there any of these variables that you could alter to improve the outcomes of your teaching?

If you make changes in your teaching, please let us know how you get on.

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