Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Flipped-Mastery Approach

It turns out the flipped classroom and the mastery approach are like two peas in a pod. Chemistry teacher Jonathan Bergmann has "flipped" his classroom--putting the lectures online and using class time to help students with assignments. And he has found that this approach not only allows more one-on-one and small group-teacher contact, it also facilitates the mastery approach to learning.

As Bergmann summarized elsewhere:

"The technological progressions led to the introduction of another transforming instructional adaptation. With such a large library of lessons available, the two teachers decided there was no reason every student had to watch the same vodcast on the same night. They implemented what they named a "mastery learning model," which allows their students to work through the material at their own pace, and when they are ready-- having finished all the assigned worksheets, done all the labs, and completed the small-group demonstrations with their teacher-- take an exit test at the end of each unit to prove comprehension. "They have to do 75 percent or better," Bergmann says. "If they don't, they go back until they get it.""
With this approach, is there any reason a student couldn't take more than one year to finish a course? Is there any reason he or she couldn't finish in less than a year and move on to a new course?

And the power of the mastery approach was established by Bloom in 1984. Students under the mastery approach did one full standard deviation better that students in the traditional classroom.


  1. Here's another free resource:

  2. I need to add one more observation and that is that the flipped mastery approach is older than advertised. I attended Doane College 1970-1974 for Education and my program consisted of education curriculum packets (mimeographed, single task subject matter) that I and others in the program could master in any sequence we chose and at our own pace. The freedom to choose what to learn and when is an incredible advantage to the learner.

    These days, with Youtube and the internet, that advantage has become an exponentially propelling factor in learning.