How Startups Are Solving a Decades-Old Problem in Education
From an article I contributed to TechCrunch about something called Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem in education:
In 1984, educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom published research on a new method of teaching, commonly called Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem. Wikipedia summarizes it:
“The average student tutored one-to-one using mastery learning techniques performed two standard deviations better than students who learn via conventional instructional methods — that is, ‘the average tutored student was above 98% of the students in the control class.’”
Bloom’s study demonstrated a method where 90 percent of students scored the same as the top 20 percent of students in a conventional classroom setting. A more recent study corroborates similar results: In 2004, a Harvard study found that individually mentored math students outperformed their classroom peers by 200 percent on standardized state math tests. If these statistics hold in practice, resolving Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem could be the greatest educational breakthrough since Socrates.
The article discusses how edtech startups like Bloc (my company) and Udacity are finding ways to solve Bloom’s 2 Sigma problem. It’s currently the most popular article on TechCrunch, here’s a link to the whole post: