Planning for Progress over Time – Mastery Learning

...but is it on the test?

Mastery Learning
Finding your way through the over-grown jungle that is the edublogosphere is a daunting task. As Head of Department, I am looking for practical ideas, backed up by research. One thread of research and discussion that has shone like a diamond in the rough is Mastery Learning. Mastery seems to merge the best of the research (Willingham, Bjork, Nutall, Hattie et al.) with practical suggestions for middle managers. I am particularly grateful to Joe Kirby for distilling the Mastery model into practical, bitesize chunks in his excellent blog post here.

These are the guiding principles that I am trying to embed in my department systems (my italics):

  • Distributing practice (rather than cramming):it is virtually impossible to become proficient at any mental task without extended, dedicated practice distributed over time.’

=> ‘rolling’ homework tasks repeating old material – past papers in 6th form: review, revision programmes/short tests lower down the school

  • Overlearning: keep pupils learning…

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