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Aurora Institute

Looking Back at Mastery Week

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

Thanks to Springpoint, Mastery Collaborative, Great Schools Partnership, KnowledgeWorks, NGLC, and all the other great organizations that participated in last week’s Mastery Week. It was a whirlwind of ideas and resources…and to be honest, I’m still processing it all.

Here is a quick guide to all the resources that were generated:

In addition to these articles, I put together my thoughts in Competency Education and the Complicated Task of Communicating after reading the New York Times article on mastery-based education. I discuss the challenges we have in communicating the big ideas when critics may be using lenses that are different than our own or operating on little or no experience in competency-based schools.

Twitter Chat on Equity and Mastery

On Wednesday we had a twitter chat (I heard that we were trending on Twitter during that hour). Thanks to all the wonderful participants. I discovered or rediscovered resources, including:

  • Zaretta Hammond and Ready for Rigor on culturally responsive teaching.
  • An article by John Hattie that describes a new learning model as “three inputs and outcomes (skill, will, and thrill), success criteria, three phases of learning (surface, deep, and transfer) and an acquiring and consolidation phase within each of the surface and deep phases.” Love it – the THRILL of learning!
  • Mastery Collaborative’s look at the intersection of culturally responsive teaching and equity.

As I “listened” to the chat, I started thinking that what we need to do is create a crosswalk of all the definitions of personalized learning and culturally responsive teaching. I think there are ways that some of the more student-centered (rather than technology-centered) ways of thinking about personalized learning could be strengthened to help us identify and challenge bias.

Voices from the Field

There was also a lot of resource-sharing during the week, including this podcast from reDesign with Bob Crumley, the previous superintendent of Chugach School District. A number of interviews representing parents, students, and educators from across the country were shared:

Did I miss something? Have a great resource to add? Just drop it in comments.