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Mastery Based Learning

Outdoor School Fredericksburg VA

BCS was founded on the concept of the mastery-based learning model.

This is a fundamental difference from the traditional instructional model that many of us are familiar with that provides an exciting, inspiring, and engaging learning experience for our school community.

At the core of this model is the understanding that there is a need for flexibility delivering curriculum based on the learning needs and abilities of the individual student.

There are no traditional pacing guides. If a student has not mastered the concept or skill, we are not done teaching. The overarching goal is mastery of learning over time.

Mastery-based education provides a learning environment where students are given opportunities to question, explore, recognize, and understand the interrelationships across content areas. These opportunities promote higher level thinking and application of lifelong learning skills.

Students, in turn, become more engaged in the learning process as they take on more ownership of their learning. The teacher facilitates student learning by encouraging students to reflect on their work product and “self-assess” their understanding of the learning objectives. Students gain a better understanding of their learning goals throughout this process.

Learning competencies embed opportunities for critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and self-reflection. Measuring proficiency of competencies is accomplished using multiple tools for assessment. It is not based on one single grade in a content area at the end of a unit/end of year. Examples of assessments can include exit tickets, performance task, assessments, anecdotal notes and checklists, and rubric based activities/projects.

Mastery-based education is transformative in how we support our community of learners to be the best they can be. Our goal is to identify and nurture each child where they are on their continuum of learning – both academically and social-emotionally.

By providing a safe and nurturing learning environment that promotes inquiry and uses higher level conceptual thinking, we encourage our students to be lifelong learners who have the skills and growth mindset to be trailblazers, innovators, and  problem solvers.


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