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English Schools Set to Adopt Mastery Approach to Teaching

Singapore’s acclaimed mastery approach sees all pupils within a class access the same curriculum and learn at broadly the same pace regardless of ability.

English Schools Set to Adopt  Mastery Approach to Teaching

Education practices vary wildly from country to country. Despite cultural differences between different schooling regimes, discipline and commitment are universally agreed upon as being traits conducive to success in any educational system. Having a school run with a high amount of discipline will effectively have a higher proportion of dedicated students. Each in turn resulting in excellent grades with examining bodies such as AQA and Edexcel. However, in England this commitment is arguably not as evident as in many developing countries across the globe such as China and Singapore.
The Department of Education, DfE, highly recommend the mastery approach of teaching in Singapore for education in England. By institutionalising the mastery approach, England receives an equal opportunity to compete against other countries who perhaps exceed the English in their education sectors. By producing equally intelligent and capable students England can make developments which will make her stand tall against those who criticise her systems and ways of life.
In order to implement the changes in to the schooling sector in England, there will essentially be a lot of changes, some more drastic than others. Both teachers and students will be working differently to achieve a mastery level of education in all subjects across the curriculum.
The Mastery Curriculum
The new mastery curriculum gives educational bodies such as Ofsted a great new framework of what to look for when visiting educational sites. Grades and results as well has the effectiveness of the new mastery curriculum can make schools shine.
The underlying concept of mastery is essentially that every student becomes a master in one topic of the subject before moving on to the next. By completing in depth and challenging problems and questions regarding the topic, a student will be able to prove their mastery knowledge in that area. Those who do not grasp the concept as quickly will not move on until they are at a mastery level. Measures to ensure that students achieve mastery may include extra tuition or additional work to be completed at home.
Mastery Teachers
For teachers, this new mastery curriculum will present a huge challenge and a different way of working, particularly to those teachers who have the principles of differentiation ingrained within themselves. In order to have students achieving mastery, teachers will be required to demonstrate an even higher degree of subject knowledge and pedagogy. Therefore teacher training must be stepped up to meet the demand for creating able bodied students. Using the additional training, teachers will be equipped with the resources they need in order to create new lesson plans and conduct them to coincide with the mastery curriculum. Teaching methods also face differences with more direct and precise questions and tasks being set to achieve the correct level of challenge needed to make students achieve mastery levels in classes.
Mastery Students
In depth knowledge and understanding of a subject creates fluency within a subject. Students will work hard to become masters and will be committed to their studies in order to better themselves. With support from teachers intervening on individual students rather than the class each student will be able to provide the results and grades needed to become masters of every subject in the mastery curriculum.

What’s your view on the mastery model? See our forums to engage in discussion about how this model may be implemented in practice in the UK.

By | 8 April, 2015 | Blog

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