Witty Learning Author - 06/04/2017

Why is Mastery Learning superior?

The modern learning method that most of us are familiar with is both linear and one-dimensional. Students study a certain topic, take a test and regardless of their understanding of the particular topic, are herded on to study the next topic. The problem intrinsic to this method is that students, who have not sufficiently mastered the basic concepts of a topic, are forced to advance to a stage that demands understanding of the previous topic. As a result, when this cycle is repeated over several topic areas, the students both lack understanding of the topic and are incapable of practically applying the knowledge to understand or solve problems.

Mastery learning approaches education quite differently. It allows students to first master, that being studied at hand, before moving on to the next one. This means that each student is free to learn at their own pace and develop sufficient mastery of the topic before moving to the next topic, and those who need extra help are provided so.

Figure 1 The Variables of Mastery Learning (Wong, 2002)

How did it Start?

First proposed formally by Benjamin Bloom in the year 1968, mastery learning is a concept that has been around for a long time. Many professors in education previously set the grounds for Bloom to research the feasibility of the learning method. After Bloom, Fred S. Keller contributed to the development of this method, and the research that surged from the works of Bloom and Keller shaped mastery learning to a form that result-oriented institutions were able to apply to improve learning of their students.

How Can It Help Students Progress in the Field of Education?

“When educators try to develop talent, they often go about it by looking for the one in a hundred or the one in a thousand rather than expecting that virtually all can learn a particular field satisfactorily, and that the best will go even further.I think that schools are wrong if they are highly selective in providing special learning experiences.” —Benjamin Bloom

1. Empowering Students

The major benefit of mastery learning is the empowering of students to learn and appreciate the subject by approaching it from different angles, instead of rushing through the elements.It eliminates the academic gap between faster and slower students by providing each a chance to learn at their own pace—all without slowing down the faster students.

2. No Glossing-Over of Skills

Mastery learning provides all pupils a safe and encouraging atmosphere to take their time to focus on understanding and solving a problem. This freedom eliminates the need of glossing over crucial knowledge and skills. As a result, students can engage in building essential skills like creative problem-solving. A hurried learning process can have a negative impact on the individual skill set of students, and act as a barrier in the way of knowledge recall.

3. No Risk of Students Being Left Behind

No student is left behind in mastery learning, as opposed to the traditional method where not every pupil receives the same scope and level of teaching. Mastery learning makes sure that every student enrolled in one particular subject receives equal amount of knowledge. Being one of the most investigated teaching methods in the past 50 years; mastery learning clearly has an upper hand when it comes to an effective teaching method. At Witty Learning, we offer mastery learning for the students wishing to receive in-depth knowledge on the subjects they enrol for.
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