Category Archives: differentiated learning

The hidden messages of teacher-paced instruction

A teacher recently emailed me asking for points of support for student-paced mastery learning when confronted with an administrator that believes that if you’re not leading whole group instruction you’re not teaching.  I sent along my standard list of research-based support and evidence of the benefits of student-paced mastery learning but I also wanted to […]

Myth #3 of Mastery Learning – Kids that are behind will never catch up

It’s been a while since my first two “Myths of Mastery Learning” posts.  The first was on the myth that mastery learning is a self-taught learning environment.  The second is that the reason we don’t use mastery learning all over the place now is because it didn’t work. This third one is something that I […]

Student-paced mastery learning lets students know they matter

You Matter. Angela Maiers started a movement ( based on these two simple words with a talk at a TEDx about the power of these words. But it’s about more than those words – it’s the power of showing people that they are noticed.  They are seen. It’s moving, it’s amazing, it’s heart-warming, and it’s […]


Why designing experiments is so hard for students & what we can do to help! 9

We’ve all heard all about how inquiry is important in science classrooms.  So why is it so hard to do?  And why are there still so teachers reluctant to do it?  Well, for lots of reasons actually…but this post will just talk about one of them – because it’s really hard to do it AND […]

Myth #2 of Mastery Learning – It doesn’t work & that’s why we quit using it 2

I’m working on a series of blog posts about the myths of Mastery Learning.  Myth #1 – It’s self-taught can be read here! On to #2…Mastery Learning doesn’t work & that’s why we quit using it. Mastery learning, like most things in education, is not new.  It has had its fair share of pendulum swings.  […]

Myth #1 of Mastery Learning – It’s self-taught

While running a mastery learning science classroom, I encountered a lot of myths – from students, parents, administrators and colleagues.  My book on mastery in the science classroom walks you through a lot of these and how to deal with them.  I’ll address some from time to time on this blog! So the first one […]

Mastery Learning, the Flipped Classroom and My Version of Combining the Two 7

In the past couple of years in my work with mastery learning, I’ve continually run across the Flipped Classroom movement. In fact, my book and theirs are even sold in a bundle together at Amazon. We attract a lot of the same teachers looking to change their classrooms and we do a lot of the […]

Mastery Learning – great for working with frequently absent students!

If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t blogged or tweeted in about a year and a half.  The last time I did was just before I was told I had a nodule on my thyroid and, even more devastatingly, Rheumatoid Arthritis (completely unrelated – they both just happened to be discovered while doing lots of tests […]

How can we get students to use their powers for good rather than evil?

OK, so not “evil” but how can we get them to use the ingenuity, dedication, critical thinking, creativity and honest hard work that they apply to their everyday interests to school? I just watched an animation of a talk on motivation.  The talk is speaking specifically about motivation in the workplace and the pretty counter-intuitive […]