Category Archives: mastery 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 (Choose2Matter.org) 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 […]


7 Skills for Life-Long Learning and How to Address Them

A large number of district, schools and classrooms that include “create life-long learners” among their goals.  But what are the skills really necessary to learn throughout your life?  And are we really addressing those goals in the best possible ways? The changes that I believe are necessary to better work on these skills (and therefore […]


“Student paced” versus/and “mastery learning”

My post from yesterday described how my 8 year old daughter, out of no where, saw the need the for individualized instruction and instituted it in her “classroom” (her bedroom where she plays teacher).  When I tweeted about the new post I used “#masterylearning” but then I stopped and added a new one I hadn’t […]


You say it can’t be done. Have you tried it?

One of the things I run up against often in my workshops on student-paced and student-directed mastery learning classrooms is the “that won’t work” response.  And today I read a blog post that was asking connected teachers to stop “ignoring reality” in the ideas that we post/talk about.  An example the blogger gave was there […]


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 […]