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Mastery Learning

Mastery learning is by far the most natural way to learn and only possible in smaller, truly interactive classes featuring full student-teacher engagement. This, the Mastery Learning technique, is one of the educational hallmarks of The Grauer School. Grauer students are expected to master key skills and concepts on their way to understanding a topic or subject.

Mastery learning is one of main reasons self-motivation and engagement levels are very high at Grauer. Our students set their own aspirations for each class, then work to achieve or surpass them. Students engage with teachers, learn from their mistakes, and work and re-work each skill on their way to mastery of course material.

Our small classes and Socratic instruction make this possible. Each student in every class, working closely with their teacher, establishes a goal level of competency (a Mastery Learning Level) for that class.

It doesn’t benefit students to stop working if they have not mastered the material. Just like writers, lawyers, and those in virtually all professions and trades, often the first grade on something is only the beginning of the learning, not the end. When our students present work that is below their mastery level, they may continue or upgrade their work until it is at mastery level. Teachers have office hours to offer extra help, and students may need to rework homework, and retake quizzes and tests.

(Scores on final exams are not upgradeable. And, mastery learning is a privilege that school administrators or a student’s individual teacher can revoke at any time if patterns of late work are observed.)

Mastery Learning helps ensure that students develop self motivation and set goals that are personally meaningful, rather than simply responding to the pressures of teachers and/or parents.


"Please know, we have such a profound admiration for all the kids and faculty at The Grauer School. Their talents are so exceptionally diverse, it unceasingly blows us away. Moreover, our reverence is reestablished daily, simply by watching our daughter blossom so superbly right before our eyes. She loves her school, teachers, and peers, and we can’t help but revel in her glee."
—JH, Grauer High School Parent