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Mastery Learning

"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

The mastery learning approach is by far the most natural way to learn. This also makes it the most effective method for instruction in many cases. The caveat, within the classical educational environment at least, is that the mastery learning approach is only possible in smaller, truly interactive classes featuring full student-teacher engagement. Few schools anywhere can implement mastery learning with the refinement and commitment of The Grauer School.

Mastery learning deeply engages the student and teacher in an iterative, Socratic process. The mastery learning approach places focus on the time required for different students to learn the same material, rather than the classical approach of assigning standardized time frames to all students that benefit some learners at the expense of others.

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

Mastery Education

Just like writers, lawyers, and people in virtually all professions and trades, often the first grade on something is only the beginning of the learning, not the end. In this regard, it doesn’t benefit students to stop working if they have not mastered the material.

Mastery education is one of main reasons self-motivation and engagement levels are incredibly high on our campus. 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.

Guidelines of Learning for Mastery

When our students present work below their mastery level, they may continue or upgrade their work until they demonstrate learning for mastery. Our teachers have office hours to offer extra help, and students may need to rework homework, and retake quizzes and tests in order to demonstrate mastery education proficiency.

To remain on par with the framework of mainstream educational methods of curricular development and delivery, scores on final exams do not count as part of learning for mastery because they are not upgradeable. Learning for mastery remains a privilege that administrators or a student’s individual teacher can revoke at any time if patterns of late work are observed.

Mastery-Based Learning Success

Using mastery-based learning, Grauer has an extraordinary success rate in helping our students develop self-motivation skills. Students learn how to set and achieve personally meaningful goals, rather than simply responding to the pressures and expectations of teachers and/or parents.

Aided by our world-renowned reputation for being a leader in the small schools movement, we make it our mission to master mastery learning for the benefit of every student who crosses our threshold. If you and your middle or high school aged child would like to embark on a journey of mastery based learning with The Grauer School, we would love to hear from you!

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