learning experiences. Having successful
learners simply bide their time, doing
more, harder problems or completing
busywork while others are engaged in
corrective instruction would be highly
inappropriate. Enrichment activities
must provide these students with opportunities to pursue their interests, extend
their understanding, and broaden their
Sustaining and Extending Success
Researchers today generally recognize
the value of the core elements of mastery
learning. As a result, fewer studies are
being conducted on the mastery learning
process itself. Instead, researchers are
looking for ways to attain even more
impressive gains by improving students’
learning processes, curriculum and
instructional materials, and the home
learning environment and support
and providing a focus on higher level
thinking skills. Work on integrating
mastery learning with other innovative
strategies appears especially promising
As we strive to improve achievement
even further, we can continue to learn
from the core elements of mastery
learning. Attention to these elements
will enable educators to make great
strides in their efforts to close
achievement gaps and help all students
achieve excellence. EL
Anderson, S. A. (1994). Synthesis of research
on mastery learning. (ERIC Document
Reproduction Service No. ED 382 567).
Astleitner, H. (2005). Principles of effective
instruction: General standards for
teachers and instructional designers.
Journal of Instructional Psychology,
Block, J. H., Efthim, H. E., & Burns, R. B.
(1989). Building effective mastery learning
schools. New York: Longman.
Bloom, B. S. (1971). Mastery learning. In
J. H. Block (Ed.), Mastery learning: Theory
and practice (pp. 47–63). New York: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston.
similar to universal
screening in RTI.
Bloom, B. S. (1974). Time and learning.
American Psychologist, 29( 9), 682–688.
Bloom, B. S. (1976). Human characteristics and school learning. New York:
Bloom, B. S. (1984). The search for methods
of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Leadership,
41( 8), 4–17.
Bloom, B. S., Hastings, J. T., & Madaus, G.
(1971). Handbook on formative and sum-mative evaluation of student learning. New
Conroy, M. A., Sutherland, K. S., Snyder,
A. L., & Marsh, S. (2008). Classwide
interventions: Effective instruction makes
a difference. Teaching Exceptional Children,
40( 6), 24–30.
Deshler, D. D., & Schumaker, J. B. (1993).
Strategy mastery by at-risk students: Not
a simple matter. Elementary School Journal,
94( 2), 153–167.
Fuchs, D., & Fuchs, L. S. (2006). Introduction to Response to Intervention:
What, why, and how valid is it? Reading
41( 1), 93–99.
Guskey, T. R. (1997a). Implementing
Mastery Learning (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA:
Guskey, T. R. (1997b). Putting it all
together: Integrating educational innovations. In S. J. Caldwell (Ed.), Professional
development in learning-centered schools
(pp. 130–149). Oxford, OH: National
Staff Development Council.
Guskey, T. R. (2008). The rest of the story.
65( 4), 28–35.
Guskey, T. R. (2009). Mastery learning. In
T. L. Good (Ed.), 21st century education: A
reference handbook (Vol. I, pp. 194–202).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Guskey, T. R., & Pigott, T. D. (1988).
Research on group-based mastery learning
programs: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Research,
Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The
power of feedback. Review of Educational
77( 1), 81–112.
Copyright © 2010 Thomas R. Guskey
Thomas R. Guskey is professor,
Department of Educational, School,
and Counseling Psychology, College of
Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington; Guskey@uky.edu.