So, what's the big deal about "Mastery Learning"? 🏔️
Bloom’s 2 Sigma problem revealed that one-on-one mastery learning leads to significantly better outcomes than group instruction. High-quality adaptive learning apps can generate similar results
No discussion of homeschooling, or family involvement in education would be complete without a discussion of mastery learning and Bloom’s 2 Sigma problem. Indeed, the effectiveness of mastery learning, especially when combined with 1-1 instruction and/or adaptive educational software, has been a deciding factor in many a family’s decision to homeschool.
Bloom’s 2 Sigma problem revealed that one-on-one mastery learning leads to significantly better outcomes than group instruction. High-quality adaptive learning apps can generate similar results.
In a mastery-based approach, learning is personalized, students learn at their own pace, sequentially, take as much time as they need to fully master one concept before moving on to the next concept in the sequence, and the educator takes responsibility for the outcomes. In 1-1 mastery-based learning, one tutor supports one student through this approach, customizing the learning process to fit their pace and unique learning modalities.
Homeschool is the ideal setup for this type of learning since students learn 1-1 with a parent, tutor, or caregiver. Since 1-1 mastery-based learning is highly efficient, students don’t need to study six hours a day like they would at a traditional school. Homeschoolers often spend 1-2 hours a day in focused “Mastery Hours.” Since learning is customized and happens at their own pace, this is all the time they need to master core math and language arts skills, meeting, or in many cases, dramatically exceeding academic standards for their grade level.
One of the most common objections to homeschooling is a concern that parents aren’t qualified to teach their kids. However, the inherent advantages to 1-1 mastery-based learning give family members a considerable edge over classroom teachers, even if they’re not trained to be educators.
In this post, we’ll give an overview of Mastery Learning, summarize the findings from Bloom’s 2 Sigma Problem, compare homeschooling vs. traditional school for Mastery Learning (and how parents can integrate 1-1 mastery learning even if they’re enrolled in school).
Finally, we’ll discuss how technology is expanding access to 1-1 mastery learning, and how good educational software can replicate the results in 1-1 tutoring.
Next week, we’ll share ways parents, teachers and caregivers can improve instructional quality in 1-1 Mastery Learning to optimize learning outcomes.
The concept of Mastery Learning has been around since the 1960s, when educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom first coined the term. Bloom demonstrated that children learn better when they are able to move ahead at their own pace and master one concept before moving on to the next. This proves to be especially true in subjects like math and science.
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