PRINCIPLES OF MASTERY-BASED LEARNING

Over the past decade, many school districts across the country have adopted a mastery-based approach to teaching and learning in order to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the strong educational preparation that is essential to success in today’s global economy and complex society. The following guiding principles define Farmington’s goals for the development of a mastery-based approach to a standards-led school system.

In Farmington, we are committed to ensuring that…

Standards are clearly defined and made public

End of year/course standards define what students must know (content) and be able to do (skills) to demonstrate mastery

Mastery is determined using a body of evidence of student work evaluated against common criteria or expectations

Students demonstrate mastery by applying knowledge and skills to new situations or contexts

Assessment promotes a learning orientation

Assessment practices reflect an understanding that students learn in different ways and at different rates

Summative assessment scores / grades are based on the extent to which students are mastering the standards

Students have multiple and varied opportunities to demonstrate mastery of essential knowledge and skills

Learning is personalized

Formative assessments provide timely and specific feedback that helps teachers adjust instruction to meet student needs

Support is provided when a student does not demonstrate mastery and is sustained as long as needed

Students have opportunities for pursuing advanced level work, independent study or interest-driven learning

Students develop a growth mindset

Students are able to monitor their own progress and determine next steps

Students revise their work based on feedback throughout the learning cycle

Students are encouraged to persist in mastering standards