Teacher while sheltered in place made me think about what mattered most in education and it shifted the way I think about learning. What mattered most is immersing our students in an experience where they get to develop a craft. Whether it be art, music, skateboarding, boxing, or writing, once goes through a journey of trial and realizations until they fully internalized it. That moment of where we internalized a a framework and are able to apply that frame repetitively over and over again automatically means that we have attain a sense of mastery

The concept of mastery learning didn’t really come into play until I realized even though my learner were getting their A’s and B’s they forget something or are not able to explain or demonstrate something. This made me re-evaluate and question my instructional moves. “How does one master a craft?” The truth is the journey to implementing mastery learning was not an easy journey and through the years we hear different type of grading methodologies such as equity based grading, standards based grading, outcomes based grading, competency based grading, and so. We are so focus on how to grade that we forget what practice are we changing and why are shift our practice.

Before you move on to the learning how to create mastery learning environment, watch the spoken work video I created that describes what mastery is and why mastery learning is essential in education. To preface the video, the only school I participated in person is combat gym I coach at, Whether it be boxing, muay thai, or jiu jitsu each of these martial arts are craft. Each of the participants that you see are at different paths toward mastery. As you watching the video ask yourself , “What conditions in the learning environment and experience leads to one mastering a craft confidently?”

What is Mastery Learning?

Why Mastery Learning in Education

Conditions for Mastery Learning

CONDITION 1: Start With The Learners

CONDITION 2: Begin With The End In Mind

CONDITION 3: Design for Intentional Practice

CONDITION 4: Explicit Success Criterias

CONDITION 5: Active Learning

CONDITION 6: Cycle of Feedback and Iteration

CONDITION 7: Celebrate What They Learned

CONDITION 8: Reflect On What They’ve Learned


Just remember, mastery is not static state, it’s a dynamic process.

Questions to reflect on:

  • What is the vision of your learning experience? What are you designing your students to be able to do?”
  • What does your current physical/virtual space tell you about how students are learning in that space?
  • What essential skills are our students focusing on and how are they getting to your expected level of mastery?
  • How are you designing the learning experience so that student are able to practice the essential skills needed to demonstrate mastery?
  • How are you coaching your student so that they are able achieve mastery?
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