Certified Learning: Practice Makes Progress

“Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics?”

Mastery based learning is a concept we embrace at Shady Oak Learning. Sal Kahn, who created the now famous Kahn Academy, recently illustrated this in a Ted Talk. Kahn created a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other  subjects. I get excited when I see well-known experts validate what we know to be true with our students in our school.

SOI Certified Learning modules help us provide a mastery based approach to helping young children acquire foundational learning skills. Each child progresses at his or her own level.

As Mr. Kahn explains in his talk, teaching for mastery and not for a grade, helps students take ownership of their own learning. When we initially test students with the Structure of Intellect test, we know their strengths and weaknesses, and how to improve their ability to master content.

Mastery learning, a concept researched and introduced by Benjamin Bloom in the 1970s, has been widely researched and proven to be effective to help students reach a high level of achievement, when students are given the necessary time and appropriate learning conditions.

Last year we had a group of students in Pre-K who observed their fellow K-2nd grade students have success mastering the Certified Learning modules. They couldn’t wait to get started on their workbook and computer modules when school started this year!

Our motto is “Practice Makes Progress”, and incremental progress with feedback motivates students to achieve.

written by: Pam Jarvis

Pam is an SOI Practitioner and the founder and Director of Shady Oak Learning, a private K-6 elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas.

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