Mastery Teaching through Teaching Practices

Amina Shaikh, Saudi Arabia, ID CLEaR2016-316;        A teacher and a learner hold a very strong relationship in teaching-learning process. Most students, perhaps over 90%, can master what teachers have to teach them, and it is the task of the instruction to find the means which will enable students to master the subject under consideration. The basic task in education is to find strategies which will take individual differences into consideration but in such a way as to promote mastery learning. The main point here is to determine what is meant by the mastery of the subject through teaching practices and making teaching process more effective. Determining such tools in terms of methods and materials will enable the largest proposition of the students to attain such mastery is also very important. Teachers should regularly focus on the evaluating the effects they have on students and adjust teaching methods accordingly. When teaching and learning is visible i.e, when it is clear what teachers are teaching and learners are learning, student achievement tends to increase.

To support my research I have highlighted five highly effective class room practices, proposed by John Hattie in his book Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning (Routledge, 2012).  These practices are; (i) Teacher clarity i.e, a teacher is supposed to clarify purpose and learning goals and provides explicit criteria on how students can be successful. (ii) Class room discussion i.e, the teacher needs to facilities entire class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other. (iii) Feedback i.e, the teacher needs to be very careful while giving feedback on learning outcomes of the students. Individual as well as whole-group feedback is to be provided by the teacher to enhance learning process. (iv) Formative Assessments i.e, In order to provide students with effective and accurate feedback, teachers need to assess frequently and routinely where students are in relation to the unit of study's learning goals or end product (summative assessment). Hattie recommends that teachers spend the same amount of time on formative evaluation as they do on summative assessment. (v) Metacognitive Strategies i.e, Metacognition is the ability to use prior knowledge to plan a strategy for approaching a learning task, take necessary steps to problem solving, reflect on and evaluate results, and modify one’s approach as needed. Flavell (1976), who first used the term, offers the following example: I am engaging in Metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B; if it strikes me that I should double check C before accepting it as fact (p. 232). And research shows that metacognition can be taught.

If we teachers would allow students to participate to a greater degree in their learning, and be less a lecturer and more a guide, our classrooms will sparkle.