At AmeriSchools Academy, our students have the opportunity to excel at their own pace through Mastery Based Learning. This type of learning and educational process offers many benefits that traditional teaching techniques cannot.
What is Mastery Based Learning?
The concept of Mastery Based Learning (MBL) is simple. It is basically a teaching method based on the idea that student progression through a course is dependent on proficiency and not the amount of time spent in class working on the subject.
Educator Jon Bergmann states, “In a mastery learning environment, students are expected to learn certain objectives, or competencies, and then they progress when they learn the competency.” This provides a solid foundation for knowledge, allowing for growth and development.
A perfect example of how MBL works is the development of a musician. A musician must first learn basic notes, which takes practice. But once this is mastered and a basic musical piece can be performed, then it is possible to progress to a more advanced piece. Moving on to an advanced piece without mastering the basics will result in failure, frustration, and even have the student become disinterested in pursuing this further.
Traditional Learning Model Vs. Mastery Based
Let’s look at the traditional academic model used in public schools across the nation. Students are grouped together, usually by age, and then this group is shepherded along through different grade levels at the same pace. The scenario is almost always the same. The teacher introduces a concept, homework is given, the concept is taught in class for two to three weeks, and then a test is given on the material.
Some students may receive 95 percent on the test, while others 75 percent or a failing grade of less than 60 percent. Although these grades are vastly different, all three students have something in common — each has a gap in what they learned. Within the traditional learning model, all students, regardless of gaps in their knowledge, still pass and progress to the next level. MBL, on the other hand, works to fill in any learning gaps by allowing students to continue working on a concept until it is mastered before they advance any further.
In short, MBL gives students a solid foundation to build and develop their knowledge, as well as cultivate a love of learning.
Benefits of Mastery Based Learning
Mastery Based Learning offers students of all ages various benefits. These include the following:
- Providing a solid foundation to build and develop their knowledge
- The ability for students to work at their own pace through online, adaptive technology
- More peer interaction for shared learning moments
- More one-on-one educator interaction
- Students learn beyond the classroom and have possibilities for growth within the community
- Students develop a stronger connection with their education
Charter schools like AmeriSchools Academy offer MBL within a non-graded environment to help students tap into their full potential. There is less focus on the lecture and more one-on-one teacher interaction with the student.
Contact us today at AmeriSchools Academy for a personal tour and to learn more about the vast learning opportunities we provide at our four campuses throughout Arizona