Guskey, T. R. (2007). Closing achievement gaps: revisiting Benjamin S. Bloom 's “learning for mastery”. Journal of Advanced Academics, 19(1), 8-31.
The author begins the article by first acknowledging the existence of achievement gaps within the school system, a problem that has plagued the country for some time now. As a result of education reform and the desire for change to take place within the education system, political leaders and programs like No Child Left Behind, has shifted its focus once again to closing the achievement gap. Given the latest changes in education, schools are now mandated to submit a breakdown of student achievement results based on the student’s poverty level, race, and language. If schools should report less than favorable results, actions should be taken to correct the problem. In an effort to solve this issue, several researchers have studied the problems resulting in achievement gaps but one researcher that made a tremendous impact in the field is described as Benjamin S. Bloom.
The author describes Benjamin S. Bloom’s research on reducing achievement gaps as providing awareness and strategies to common problems associated with achievement gaps. In 1960, Bloom began his research on individual differences in school learning, when he noticed that instructors provided few differences in the way they taught students. He observed that teachers did not accommodate for individual differences but taught every student the same and offered students the same amount of time to grasp concepts. As a result, students that had minimal trouble with this method of instruction were ultimately successful, but majority of the students who found t...
... middle of paper ...
...apprehensive about the program, or needing to adjust or change pacing guides to accommodate for more instruction time, the research on mastery learning is favorable. The author, describes a study conducted on students in high school, in which 7000 high school students responded well to mastery learning. Mastery learning positive reviews are not just partial to cognitive or achievement outcomes but the experience also increases student confidence and involvement in class.
In closing, the author ends the article by saying that other factors contribute to the achievement gap, that occur outside of the classroom but that formal assessment, individualized instruction, enrichment process, and instructional alignment are key elements in mastery learning and implementation of all four element will result in higher student achievement and close the gap of student achievement.
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