Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999) And His Higher Order Thinking Skills For Creating Humanist Thinkers

Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999) And His Higher Order Thinking Skills For Creating Humanist Thinkers

By Brannon S. Howse

Although it received tremendous exposure early in its public life, the term Outcome-Based Education has long since been abandoned because parents figured out what it was all about, and it wasn’t good. Parents realized it meant they would no longer have much to say about the “base” for their children’s education, and the outcomes they saw didn’t make them very happy. So, naturally, the purveyors of OBE abandoned the offending concepts.


By this point in our study, you should be able to guess what they did instead. If you guessed that they came up with new names for the same ol’ same ol’, you would, of course, be absolutely correct. 


Creative Labels for a Broken Idea 


Hiding OBE has become for many educators a full-time job. To keep parents and the public confused, OBE proponents cloak their educational approach in different terms. Here is a list of the most common ones: 


Mastery Learning
Results Oriented
Total Quality Management
Quality Schools
Essential Schools
Transformational Education
Reformed Education, Restructured Education
Competency Based Education
Break the Mold 21st Century Schools
Exit Based Teaching
High Standards
Performance Based Learning
High Level Learning
Mastery Teaching
Formative Testing
Correctives Teaching
Extensions Learning
Summative Evaluations
Credentialing Curriculum
Advancement Teaching
Results-Based Curriculum 


Tracing the ancestry of the term through the newspeak maze would bring you back to the one that the tops the list above. The original concepts behind OBE came from the “Mastery Learning” plans of Benjamin Bloom.

Even “Mastery Learning” once fell on hard times, and so began the many attempts to disguise it. William Spady, one of OBE's most well-known gurus, devised a cover-up and encouraged educators to do away with the old terminology: 

[quote] I pleaded with the group not to use the name "mastery learning" in the network's new name because the word "mastery" had already been destroyed. I argued that we had about five years before they destroyed the term "outcomes," but at least we could get a start. [end quote]


At a February 1994 conference sponsored by Free World Research in Des Moines, Iowa, Dr. William Coulson, a longtime colleague of psychologist Carl Rogers, quoted Dr. Rogers’s approach to manipulating words: "Change the name of [the reform policy] as fast as necessary to stay ahead of the critics." Now that OBE has been unmasked, the spin doctors of the educational elite are out in full force using many different names to disguise Outcome-Based Education.

Regardless of what it is called, Bloom's approach is based on the socialist premise that no one can be better than anyone else. Instead of redistributing wealth and destroying capitalism, though, they are redistributing grades and destroying the acquisition of knowledge.

Socialism has been tried many times and has proven a total failure. Why then are we teaching America's children socialism in and through education?

Socialism will never succeed because it is based on a false concept of equality. Equality of outcomes among vastly different individuals cannot happen. Whenever government tries to equalize salaries, the standard of living, or education, productivity takes a nosedive. The fantasy world mentality of socialism sets a dangerous precedent for any public school student. Why? Because OBE never permits a child to fail.

In order for the outcomes to be equal, however, the standard must be lowered to ensure that all students, regardless of ability, can reach the benchmark. If you want everyone to slam dunk, you have to lower the basket. Children are robbed of the valuable lessons of determination and persistence learned from failure. Failure can be used to teach children to dig in and double or even triple their efforts in order to reach a goal. In Schools Without Failure, William Glasser, one of OBE's promoters, reflected this mentality: "We have to let students know there are no right answers, and we have to let them see that there are many alternatives to certainty and right answers."

Glasser takes his cues directly from one of the most notorious agents of change ever involved in the American educational system, Benjamin Bloom. In his book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Bloom calls for the "thorough going-through and reorganization of attitudes and values."  

Bloom taught that the highest form of intelligence has been reached when an individual no longer believes in right or wrong. Bloom proclaimed that the purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings, and actions of students. In another of his books, All Our Children Learning, Bloom discloses what he believes is the ultimate goal of education: 


"… The curriculum may be thought of as a plan for changing students' behavior and as the actual set of learning experiences in which students, teachers, and materials interact to produce the change in students."


In other words, Bloom was espousing corrective thought control. What kind of “correction” does Bloom desire? Simply that students question everything taught to them—except, of course, what he teaches—and learn to remove moral absolutes from the base of their beliefs. Teaching based on feelings, not facts, and encouraging loyalty to peers and teachers, not family and churches, is exactly the goal of Outcome-Based Education. 

As Aldous Huxley pointed out in Brave New World: 

"A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers."


Bloom's Mastery Learning continues to give us just such a generation. Outcome-Based Education has not only given us a nation of compliant slaves but a generation enslaved to a humanist worldview. It is a generation that does not believe in absolute truth and that to be considered an intellectual you must be  liberal and must hold tolerance as the highest “virtue.”


An Elite Group of Thinkers

So what is Bloom's final objective? To change the students into exactly what he is: a humanist and elitist. Bloom's goal is to tear down any and every one of a child’s traditional authority figures and replace them with a new one: the State group consensus.

 And how does Bloom plan to do this? By making students believe they have been exposed to superior thought that is beyond the ability of most people—particularly the child's parents—to understand. Students are fed lies that go something like this: 

"Do not expect to be understood by your parents, pastor, or even some of your friends. You are part of an elite group of thinkers. If you truly want to be an intellectual thinker, you have to be a liberal thinker. You can't believe in the old standard of right or wrong. You must decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong based on your own feelings, beliefs, and ideas. It is okay to challenge and question the things your parents or society have taught you. That is all part of becoming part of a rare group of leaders and achievers. This is also why our federal government has been pushing for mandatory volunteerism. Billions of dollars have been authorized by Congress to bring about mandatory brainwashing by putting children in emotional, liberal, bleeding-heart situations void of reason and logic in which the desired outcome is the student's acceptance of government intervention into every area of life. This will usher in a society based on "fairness" and the redistribution of wealth." 

 Am I over-stating the case? I don’t think so, as Bloom's own words demonstrate: 

"The careful observer of the classroom can see that the wise teacher as well as the psychological theorist use cognitive behavior and the achievement of cognitive goals to attain affective goals. . . . [A] large part of what we call "good teaching" is the teacher's ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the student's fixed beliefs."

And where did the students get the "fixed beliefs" that must be challenged? For millions, it is through their parents and churches. Most of us would respond: All the more reason why those fixed beliefs should remain fixed, instead of being torn down and replaced by some liberal, socialist, humanist, elitist educrat like Benjamin Bloom. 

Bloom’s thinking fits right in with others we’ve studied. As you’ll recall from studying Alice Bailey, her demon friend, The Tibetan, proclaimed that the one world religion and the "new age" or "new order" would be implemented through the dominant false church, Freemasonry and the education establishment: 

[quote] The three main channels through which the preparation for the new age is going on might be regarded as the Church, the Masonic Fraternity and the educational field. All of them are as yet in relatively static condition, and all are as yet failing to meet the need and to respond to the inner pressure. But in all of these three movements, disciples of the Great Ones are to be found and they are steadily gathering momentum and will before long enter upon their designated task. [end quote]

If Bailey were alive today, she would see that these three institutions have not been static for many years and are now clearly promoting the same demonic worldview agenda to which she was committed. 

To achieve globalism, one of the goals of the education establishment is to teach the children to think as a group and to accept group values that are pre-determined by the State. Collectivism is crucial for the accomplishment of the new order. Again, according to Bailey:

"This coming age will be as predominantly the age of group interplay, group idealism and group consciousness as the Piscean Age has been one of personality unfoldment…for the will of the individual will voluntarily be blended into group will."


Discovered: New Meanings for Old Words

Today’s educational elite mask the true nature of the outcomes, “high standards,” and a host of other goal-related terms. Benjamin Bloom called them "higher order thinking skills." As with the term OBE itself, whatever the goals are called, parents need to know that the terms have specific, underlying meanings, and they usually aren’t what you think. For example: what do you think when you hear the term, "critical thinker"? Do you want to be considered one? Do you want your child or grandchild to be considered a critical thinker? Before you answer that question; you need to ask: who is defining the terms?

 Dr. Raymond English, one of the educational elite, gave a speech before the National Advisory Council on Educational Research and Improvement on April 2, 1987, in which he defined critical thinking as follows: 

"Critical thinking means not only learning how to think for oneself, but it also means learning how to subvert the traditional values in your society. You're not thinking critical if you're accepting the values that mommy and daddy taught you. That's not critical."

 Some of the other "outcomes" they want your child to achieve can be found in the statement of purpose of almost every school district. Here is a sampling: 

Involved citizen, quality producer, self-directed learner, productive group participant, understand diversity, understand positive health habits, deliberate on public issues and interpret human experience.

Do you think students would be considered "self-directed learners" if they listened to their parents, pastor, youth pastor, or grandparents?

"Understanding diversity" means accepting and valuing every lifestyle anyone chooses to practice. "Understanding positive health habits" is nothing more than passing a "safe sex class." 

In the early 90s, America embraced the U.N. global education agenda, largely inspired by Robert Muller. This agenda in America came to be called America 2000 and was introduced by President George H.W. Bush in April of 1991 in a speech at the White House:

"Nations that stick to stale old notions and ideologies will falter and fail. So I'm here today to say, America will move forward.... New schools for a new world....  Re-invent-literally start from scratch and reinvent the American school.... Our challenge amounts to nothing less than a revolution in American education."

Although Bush could not get the legislation through Congress, the legislation was finally passed as Goals 2000 through the subsequent efforts of President Bill Clinton and his administration. As chairman of the National Governors Association, Governor Bill Clinton had helped draft this education agenda, and he was in the White House Rose Garden when it was unveiled by then President George H.W. Bush. After migrating through the Clinton Administration, the agenda emerged with yet another name change under President George W. Bush when it became known as No Child Left Behind. Under Barack Obama and his Administration it was known as Race to the Top and Common Core. 

Lamar Alexander, former Governor of Tennessee and U.S. Secretary of Education for President George H.W. Bush, revealed that the book by René Dubos entitled A God Within "changed his thinking the most."  Dubos was also a board member of the futuristic organization Planetary Citizens. A small excerpt from Dubos's book reveals his worldview that so impacted the Secretary of Education:

"The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution.... Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature."


As the first president Bush’s secretary of education, Lamar Alexander aggressively promoted the global education agenda America 2000 to the American people. Many corporations bought into this education agenda and lobbied for its passage. See how easy it is to spot the education establishment and occultism/pagan spirituality connections back to the government-corporate complex? At the writing of this book, Lamar Alexander is the Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee. With Republicans like Alexander, who needs Democrats?


Rush to Failure


The education agenda is picking up steam under President Obama. On July 24, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the "centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s education reform efforts" in its "$4.3 billion Race to the Top," will include "adopting internationally benchmarked education standards." The U.S. Department of Education press release said the Obama Administration will be pushing strategies for "Adopting internationally benchmarked standards and assessments."  States will be encouraged to adopt these international education standards by being rewarded with additional federal funds. While Republican and Democrat administrations come and go and the U.S. Congress flips back and forth from Democrat to Republican control, the U.N. agenda moves forward unabated. 

John Dewey admitted that the purpose of school is not to create educated students but to change their values and prepare them for their place in life. Benjamin Bloom admitted that the goal of his educational philosophy is to change a student's "fixed beliefs.” The goal of Robert Muller is based on the same worldview of humanist Dewey and humanist Bloom, and his goal was to use the UN to convince national leaders to embrace a humanistic worldview so as to usher in the New Order. The late Norman Cousins, former president of the World Federalist Association, wrote the foreword to one of Robert Muller's books in which he admits that Muller has helped to further the "values" of Dewey, Bloom, and other humanists: 

[quote] Whatever the uncertainties of the future may be,…the oncoming generations will…need to have special knowledge, certainly; but they will need something far more important: an intense awareness of the conditions under which the values essential to the future of mankind can be created and maintained. They will need living examples of the conspiracy of love that…will be essential to man's salvation. Robert Muller is involved in such a conspiracy. [end quote]

The liberal media are known for attempting to characterize and marginalize conservative authors and researches for using the terms "conspiracy" and "New World Order.” However, the hard facts reveal that authors, researchers, talk-show hosts, and conference speakers such as myself are simply quoting the agenda clearly stated and described by individuals such as Norman Cousins, Alice Bailey, Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Bloom, and countless others. 

I can hardly say this emphatically enough: Americans must stop being so trusting and understand that educational policy makers in Washington D.C. and at the state departments of education are individuals who have betrayed a public trust.


In his 1964 book Stability and Change in Human Characteristics, Bloom shows that this sad state of affairs has been a long time in coming: 

"Efforts to control or change human behavior by therapy, by education, or by other means will be inadequate and poorly understood until we can follow behavior over a longer period." [Emphasis mine]

“Control” is where we see the worldviews of Benjamin Bloom and behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner merging. This, at least in part, is why Skinner, is next on our list of individuals destroying America from the grave. 


Copyright 2009 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.