Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Mastery Learning at Sorenson’s Ranch School
Sorenson’s Ranch School uses mastery learning which enables students to move forward at their own pace as they master knowledge, skills, and concepts. Effective implementation completely changes how students learn, how teachers teach, and how schools work. Mastery learning transforms how Sorenson’s Ranch School develops curricula and how learning is measured, as well as how teachers are trained. Mastery learning as a concept and even as an instructional practice is not new. It has been around since the 1960s. We use it to better enable our students to be successful on an individual basis. It allows us to individualize classwork for each individual student. Our classes are student paced, teacher guided which has worked very well for us at Sorenson’s Ranch School. Mastery learning entails the concept that all teachers can teach and all students can learn. At our school we believe using this concept, all students can be taught to learn excellently. Each student controls the delivery and flow of their classes and learn independently adapting the curriculum to fit their needs. We believe in a personalized method of instruction to meet all student’s needs. Typically, most students are more successful with this learning model. Students learn at a faster rate and learn more. At SRS, we believe this model is perfect for our students. Students who have not done well with the traditional lecture classroom, often thrive in mastery learning. The motivation for mastery learning comes from trying to reduce achievement gaps for students in average school classrooms. As students may be out for group therapy or discipline, they can successfully come back into the classroom, pick up where they left off, and continue progressing. The mastery learning method divides subject matter into units that have preset objectives or unit expectations. Students, alone or in groups, work through each unit in an organized fashion. Students must demonstrate mastery on unit exams, typically 80%, before moving on to new material. Students who do not achieve mastery receive remediation through tutoring, peer monitoring, small group discussions Additional time for learning is prescribed for those requiring remediation. Students continue the cycle of studying and testing until mastery is met. This gives students the opportunity to be successful. Pier tutoring is an important part of this model of learning. When students help other students, it solidifies the learning for the tutor and teaches the one being tutored. We believe students will feel successful, move quickly, and complete their education. We strongly believe that all students should get the high school diploma. We are committed to push students to achieve this goal. For students who struggle, we adapt curriculum to fit their needs yet still getting credit for them and having them learn. We enjoy working with students and seeing success in all students. We are happy to report that we have a high graduation rate. We are very successful in placing students after completing their education. Teachers, therapists, and case managers use this learning model to get results getting the student to graduate.