Mastery Learning at Stuart Hall
Mastery is effective transfer of learning in authentic and worthy performance. Students have mastered a subject when they are fluent, even creative, in using their knowledge, skills, and understanding in key performance challenges and contexts at the heart of that subject, as measured against valid and high standards.” We want students to ‘persist to mastery’ rather than just move on when the semester is done.
-Grant Wiggins, internationally recognized expert on assessment
Mastery Learning is an approach to education that focuses on the acquisition of core competencies rather than rote memorization of content. The most tangible difference is that grades will no longer be a motivating factor, but learning will take top priority as students work towards mastery of skills. Furthermore, rather than time spent on a subject determining progression, students must instead demonstrate a deep level of understanding of a topic, subject area, or skill set. This approach provides faculty feedback and guidance until successful mastery is achieved. Skills may be learned within the context of traditional classes, but the pace and path to mastery, as well as the form of assessment and skills demonstration, may be individualized. Skills may also be developed outside of the traditional school day, or as part of the residential curriculum, as learning doesn’t end at 3:00 pm.
Stuart Hall's six Graduate Goals of Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communication, Citizenship, Collaboration, and Well-Being remain foundational to our academic program, framing the skills to be mastered before a student launches into life beyond high school. The tangible difference is that grades will no longer be a motivating factor, but the learning will take top priority as students work towards mastery of skills.