Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator

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Few individuals in the history of education have had greater impact on educational policy and practice than Benjamin S. Bloom. During a career that spanned over five decades, his research and writing guided the development of innumerable educational programs and provided powerful insights into the untapped potential of educators to help all students learn well. Benjamin S. Bloom spent most of his professional life at the University of Chicago, where he held the Charles H. Swift Distinguished Service endowed chair. At this university, he founded and chaired the program in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis (or MESA), authored or co-authored 17 books, and wrote numerous journal articles. He served as the president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a member of the National Academy of Education, and a founding member of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). Also the recipient of several awards, perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the profound influence he had on his students and professional colleagues. Much of his time was spent in one-to-one interactions with them, which have become known as "Bloom Stories" and have gained legendary status. Many of the "Bloom Stories" are humorous and show his amazing quick wit. Others recall the kindness and encouragement, and subtle wisdom he showed in helping students and colleagues overcome obstacles or setbacks. No matter what the topic, Benjamin Bloom's stories are touching remembrances that offer special insight into his uniqueness as a preeminent scholar, colleague, mentor, and friend. This book is a collection of these stories, with brief reviews of some of Bloom's major professional contributions.

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About the Author:

Thomas R. Guskey, Ph.D., is professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Kentucky. Benjamin Bloom served as his advisor during his years of graduate study at the University of Chicago, as the director of his doctoral dissertation committee, and later as a colleague on several large-scale research projects.

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Almost every educator knows that Benjamin Bloom was the author of the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Most know that he was responsible for the development of mastery learning. There are many sources of information about Ben Bloom, the professional educator. Tom Guskey has done a wonderful job of assembling a set of stories that help us understand the human dimension of this remarkable thinker and truly appreciate Ben Bloom, the man. (Lorin W. Anderson, Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina)

This book is an important reminder to today’s scholars and researchers that many current ideas are not new. Guskey has assembled an wonderful array of stories portraying Bloom the scholar and Bloom the man that remind us of his contributions to many of the current lines of research today. The combination of personal and professional stories in Guskey’s volume remind us what a truly remarkable man Benjamin Bloom was. (Judith Monsaas, Executive Director of Assessment and Evaluation and Professor of Education, Office of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research,The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia)

“I really enjoyed Benjamin S. Bloom: Portraits of an Educator. This book has gotten me more interested in Dr. Bloom and, in fact, I purchased three more books that were written by him, simply due to your book. I have a full-time job and am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and though I am not a traditional college age student, I am more interested in learning about education now. Thanks so much for the incredible book and it was a delight to learn more about the man behind Bloom’s Taxonomy. Far more than I ever knew about Benjamin Bloom and I will be reading even more in the months to come simply due to your book. Thank you!” (Bob Jennings)

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