Program

Nov 02, 2010

OVERVIEW

Mastery Learning is a teaching method that encourages mastery of the material
using a group-paced approach in order to improve reading achievement. An
evaluation of the Mastery Learning curriculum with first-grade students found
that it improved reading achievement. However, there were different patterns of
improvement for boys and girls, with high-achieving girls benefiting more than
low-achieving girls, and low-achieving boys benefiting more than high-achieving
boys.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Elementary school students

Mastery learning is a general concept which can be applied in many programs;
this is one of many programs that are based on mastery learning principles.
The program targets learning problems and aims to increase reading achievement.
The program consists of a strengthened reading curriculum for the entire classm
and uses a group-paced approach to mastery, meaning that the class does not move
onto the next learning unit until at least 80 percent of the students achieve 80
to 85 percent of the learning objectives for the previous unit.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Kellam, S.G., &
Rebok, G.W. (1992). Building developmental and etiological theory through
epidemiologically based preventive intervention trials. In McCord, J., &
Tremblay, R.E. (Eds.), Preventing antisocial behavior: Interventions from
birth through adolescence
(pp.162-195). New York: The Guilford Press.

Evaluated population:
575 first-grade children from five urban areas of Baltimore.

Approach:
Three to four elementary schools were selected in each of 5 urban areas of
Baltimore. The schools were randomly assigned to the Mastery Learning
curriculum, The Good Behavior Game comparison condition, or the control group
which received the school’s normal curriculum. In each intervention school, one
classroom was randomly assigned to the treatment condition, and one served as a
within-school control classroom. Children’s concentration problems, aggressive
and shy behavior, depressive symptoms, and academic achievement were assessed in
the fall and spring of the first-grade year.

Results:
Positive impacts were found for reading achievement for both male and female
students. However, high-achieving girls improved more than low-achieving girls,
while low-achieving boys improved more than high-achieving boys. At pre-test
depressed children had lower achievement than non-depressed students, but for
those depressed students in the Mastery Learning classrooms, achievement at
post-test was similar to non-depressed students.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Kellam, S.G., &
Rebok, G.W. (1992). Building developmental and etiological theory through
epidemiologically based preventive intervention trials. In McCord, J., &
Tremblay, R.E. (Eds.), Preventing antisocial behavior: Interventions from
birth through adolescence
(pp.162-195). New York: The Guilford Press.

KEYWORDS:
Children (3-11), Elementary, Males and Females (Co-ed), Urban, School-based,
Reading/Literacy, Depression/Mood Disorders

Program information last updated 11/2/10