In Search of a Useful Definition of Mastery

Create a blog entry in Blackboard in which you debate the merit of the following statement drawn from Educational Leadership, December 2013, “In Search of a Useful Definition of Mastery,” p. 23: “Teachers need to allow students to work on tasks repeatedly, without penalties, until they achieve mastery.”

Learning is a continuous process where learners or students for this case get to acquire new skills and ideas as they stay within the confines of the classroom. It is particularly useful when students master some concepts and get them as they are than just rather assumption through understanding as they might get some basics and finer details wrong. This is despite getting the whole concept of the topic as intended by the teacher at end of the topic. The teacher might have used more of explanations and not exactly as is written with books explanation making it simpler for the students to achieve this. When teachers allow students to work on tasks repeatedly, they get to master the finer details and thus can easily develop and transition to more complex topics on their own without assistance from the teacher.

It has been scientifically proven that the human bran recognizes things through patterns. Things that follow particular patterns will make the brain easily identify things and events related to that one identified pattern. In class, teachers allowing students to repeat tasks allow them to identify patterns and make them remember the ideas that were presented in class with the ideas tested. Their brains will be rewired and remember things better. It also gives the students a better memory for self development and advancement in life.

Penalties lead some students to losing hope in a mood to despair that they won’t be in a position to put effort into learning more. Repeating tasks without punishment enables them to rectify their mistakes and in the process achieving mastery of the topic. Punishment also leads not thinking outside the box as they work on their assignments discouraging creativity. It makes students believe that there is only one way to tackling problems and challenges which is wrong. Students should always be allowed to make mistakes and rectify them in the process learning and achieving mastery of the topic.

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