The Development of Mastery Learning


Author’s name

The author and the major proponent of the mastery learning strategyclaim that the strategy is extremely effective compared to thetraditional teaching models. The theorist argue that the model allowsteachers to use assessments as learning tools. According to thetheorist, assessments should not only be administered once at the endof the unit, but should be continuous in order to assess thecontinuous grasp of skills and knowledge by the students (Guskey,2009). He claims that this enables feedback and corrective measuresby the teacher to the students. Weak learners are given anopportunity to succeed again and hence motivating them. Learners whodo not succeed in the initial assessments are able to identify theirweak areas and embark on measures to master skills and knowledge(Guskey, 2009).

This model supports student learning in that it enables students torepeat the study of the areas they have not mastered in a unit. Theteacher has the opportunity to offer feedback and correct thestudents when they are wrong. It is also clear from the article thatthe model seeks to transfer the crucial elements of individualinstruction to a group-based instruction in a classroom. This enablesthe students to have a one-on-one interaction with the teacher(Guskey, 2009).

The author relies on various research studies and practical examplesthat indicate the success of the model and the benefits the model hason students. For instance, the prowess in mathematics that isexhibited by the Japanese students has been associated with theteaching models that are similar to mastery learning (Guskey, 2009).Additionally, there are various studies such the one by Whiting, VanBurgh, and Render (1995), which highlights the various benefits ofmastery learning to students. This was a study that involved thecollection of data for 18 years for 7000 high school students. Thestudy indicated that the model resulted in better grades and averagetest scores. Additionally, the research study found out that leanerswho went through the mastery learning model were more likely to havea positive attitude towards school, as well as towards learning.There were also various research studies that were carried out in theUnited States, Asia and Australia which indicated that masterylearning improved the learner’s performance (Guskey, 2009).

I totally agree with the author and the theorist with regard to theapplication of the leaning model in group-based classroom. It isabundantly clear that this is a model that has been in use widelyacross the world. It enables teachers to identify the weaknesses ofvarious students and come up with strategies and corrective measures.Students are not allowed to continue to the next unit without havingfully understood their current unit. This not only enhances theirperformance in the classroom, but also gives them another chance ofsuccess (Guskey, 2009). This is a huge form of motivation, whichgives the students the belief and self-confidence to continue withtheir studies. This is a model that I have witnessed in classroomduring my high school years. Continuous assessment tests wereextremely common and their aim was to measure the progress of masteryof the different skills and knowledge in a particular unit. Teacherswould not proceed to successive units if all the learners had notfully understood the current unit.


Guskey, B. (2009). Mastery learning. Retrieved from: