Auburn High School awarded grant for mastery-based learning

The school will begin to implement the new model of instruction in the 2023-24 school year.

Auburn High School won a grant from the State Board of Education for implementing mastery-based learning in the coming years.

The Board of Education awarded Auburn High School and 13 other schools funds for mastery-based learning on Jan. 20.

Mastery-based learning, also called competency-based learning, is an instructional approach which requires students to master a topic before moving on to the next goal.

The State Board of Education had previously invited schools across the state to apply for the Mastery-Based Learning Collaborative. The board then selected 14 schools to award the funds to with the goal of implementing mastery-based learning over the next few years, according to the board of education.

Classrooms using mastery-based learning have several key characteristics, according to the board of education:

One aspect of mastery-based learning is student agency, students can help direct their learning and the student’s opinion is valued. In addition to this, the material is relevant and engaging to the students, students are encouraged to make interdisciplinary connections in their learning.

Another aspect of mastery-based learning is that students learn at their own pace and receive help based on their individual needs. Similarly, mastery-based learning is inclusive and honors the unique experiences of each student.

One final characteristic of mastery-based learning is the methods of assessment. Students are assessed on their mastery of a subject through tests, portfolios, projects and other demonstrations. Assessments are designed for students to show what they know and deepen their understanding of a subject, according to the board of education.

As part of the grant, Auburn High School will receive professional learning from 2022-23 to transition the instruction toward mastery-based learning. Schools will actually begin implementing mastery-based learning the following school year 2023-24, according to the board of education.