It’s called the 2 sigma problem

Benjamin Bloom was an educational psychologist. In 1984, he conducted a study in which multiple groups of students were taught the same content, but in different ways. One group received the instruction in the standard way: 1 teacher in the front of the classroom, and 30 kids in the back. Another group received the same content, but with each student being assigned their own personal tutor.

It’s intuitive that the 1:1 tutored kids would do better than the standard group class. What’s amazing is how much better they did. The tutored kids did 2 standard deviations (known as sigma) better than the kids taught in the normal way. That means that the average tutored student did better than 98% of the kids taught in a group!

Why hasn’t education changed?

That performance difference is nothing short of amazing! But it begs the question: in the almost 40 years since Bloom published his study, why has nothing changed? Why are we still teaching in the same old way?

It’s useful to note that the title of Bloom’s study was “The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instructions as Effective as One-to-one Tutoring”. This makes perfect sense. Given the technology in 1984, it was impossible to think about how every student could have her own personal tutor. So Bloom was asking the right question for the time.

What’s different now?

But technology has changed a lot since Bloom’s day. Now, we at LalTal think we can ask a different question, “How can we bring 1:1 tutoring to every learner?”

With the ability to connect our learning coaches (tutors) to learners all over the world through asynchronous audio messaging, every person having her own tutor is no longer impossible! LalTal pairs every learner with a personal coach. Because the instruction is asynchronous, coaches and learners don’t have to be logged on at the same time so it’s easy to fit into any schedule. Because we use audio, the connection is human without being invasive (like video). And because behavioral economists have taught us that “something is better than nothing” and “consistency is key,”we know that we can build a sustainable learning habit in just 10 minutes a day!

How can I be in the top 2% of learners?

It’s easy to get started with LalTal. Simply click the button below, fill out the form, and one of our learning coaches will reach out to you within 24 hours to get you started!

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