Friday, May 23, 2014

A Review of "Mastery Learning in the Science Classroom"

Kelly Morgan's book on mastery science classes only spans 68 pages but is full of insight and practical advice. The book outlines her motivation and journey to mastery learning, while also dedicating a chapter to the research, some of which, has long since been forgotten.

Perhaps the most interesting point made in book is the revelation that research supported Mastery Learning decades ago. Mastery learning classes were unsustainable at the time and researchers stopped performing studies because of this lack of feasibility. There's an odd yet powerful observation Kelly makes: researchers stopped investigating mastery, not because it didn't work, but because it did work - there was just no way to pull it off!

Fast forward a few decades, the changes in technology do allow for mastery learning. It's no surprise that the pendulum shifts back to mastery.

I also appreciated some of the practical recommendations. Some of the particular suggestions are a bit dated since technology continued to advance even since the publication of the book a few years ago. Nevertheless, the idea of using an LMS, online varied quizzes and offloading direct instruction to an on-demand platform are still crucial to the success of mastery learning classes.

I highly recommend this book for flipped mastery practitioners or those who wish to explore the possibility. It is a great read!