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Benjamin S. Bloom, an education professor and researcher at the University of Chicago whose work on early-childhood education influenced the creation of the federal Head Start preschool program, died Sept. 13. He was 86. He is best known for his 1956 work, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which described a "hierarchy" of learning, beginning with factual knowledge and progressing to comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Translated into more than 50 languages, the book is still used as a guide in curriculum development. Mr. Bloom was also known for his theory of "mastery learning," which posited that all students were capable of learning and was reflected in many of the education changes of the 1980s and '90s.

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