Survey Shows Teachers Favor Mastery Learning to Address Pandemic-Related Learning Gaps

Written by Mamie M. Arndt


As we emerge from the pandemic and head into our initially write-up-pandemic university yr, the benefits of our new survey of instructors gives us hope for a brighter upcoming and, at the very same time, reaffirms our deep motivation to remaining laser-centered on restoration.

The conclusions demonstrate: 

  • 9 out of 10 lecturers say they’ve been ready to recognize learning gaps that need to have to be resolved. 
  • 84% of teachers believe that mastery learning can assistance address learning reduction from the pandemic.

We wholeheartedly concur. Mastery studying ensures just about every scholar has the opportunity and incentive to grasp a idea prior to they end doing work on it. It’s the philosophical main of Khan Academy, and many years of analysis reveals that mastery mastering functions. 

84% of teachers believe mastery learning can help address learning loss from the pandemic.
53% of teachers use mastery learning in their classrooms.

The nationally agent study of lecturers shows that the the greater part of instructors are making use of mastery studying or would like to. For illustration:

  • 53% of academics use mastery learning in their lecture rooms. 
  • An extra 35% would like to use mastery studying.

Although this news is encouraging, the study also displays the profound effect of the pandemic: 

  • More than 80% of academics say that when released to new principles, their students want far more aid than they would have needed in advance of the pandemic.
  • Only 59% of teachers say their students mastered the content they needed to very last university year.

Psychological health and fitness and behavioral support ended up also well known threads. After a tumultuous two yrs, lecturers identify student psychological well being needs and a deficiency of behavioral guidance as important barriers in the classroom.

Survey question: What do you think are the most important change(s) that would help students make up “unfinished learning” or the learning gaps that developed during the pandemic? 
Increase emotional/behavior support 60%
More family engagement 56%
Less rigid pacing guides, so I have flexibility to provide instruction and practice until a skill is mastered 52%
Consistent small group instruction 52%
Offering more opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery 50%
Tools to help provide instruction and practice at the level the student is at 48%
More support or tools to provide instruction and practice until mastery is reached 47%
Tools to easily help me know which skills a student has mastered and not mastered 46%
Tools to make it easier to provide feedback to students 39%
Project-based learning 36%
Making the bar for mastery high 17%
Other 5%

Mastery mastering can fill in the discovering gaps 

We feel mastery learning can speed up pandemic recovery. Sal Khan, our founder, is a longtime advocate for mastery. Contrary to traditional studying, students in mastery-understanding classrooms are not pushed in advance in lockstep, which can bring about the accumulation of understanding gaps. (Sal calls these “Swiss cheese gaps.”) 

Very last calendar year, in the wake of pandemic school closures, numerous huge faculty districts, including Los Angeles Unified, turned to elements of mastery finding out to tackle shed mastering time. Six superintendents published a superior-profile op-ed advocating for the widespread adoption of competency-centered understanding, which shares many of the exact same tenets. 

“It’s terrific to see so a lot enthusiasm for mastery understanding,” Sal states. “Mastery can engage in a critical job in recovery. It lets lecturers to personalize learning so that just about every student can development as a result of their quality level although also addressing the regions exactly where they could have to have excess help.” 

Mastery learning makes it possible for learners to progress at a speed which is proper for them below the watchful eye of expert academics who make decisions about instruction. 

In our study, academics say they assume the things of mastery mastering are significant for closing studying gaps. For illustration, they’d like more versatility so they can commit further time on a thought if it is wanted (for case in point, much less rigid pacing guides). They’d also like to allow for learners to retake assessments. 

Lecturers say the most effective way to determine finding out gaps is to do the job individually with college students throughout class. What is far more, they say the best way to persuade students to capture up is through 1-on-just one instruction. 

The impact of learning disruptions is clear:
84% of teachers say their students need more help than they would have needed before the pandemic
59% of teachers say their students mastered content they needed last school year

Freeing up teachers’ time 

Lecturers also consistently report that they do not have enough time to do the function they want to do: 

  • Additional than 6 out of 10 teachers feel they really do not expend enough time furnishing opinions to college students.
  • Instructors would like to commit, on average, an more 3.6 hours offering opinions each 7 days. 

Lack of time is the most frequently described barrier to mastery mastering. “We imagine know-how can enable with the time bind,” Khan Academy main understanding officer Kristen DiCerbo states. “Teachers don’t have time to have people individual discussions with each and every college student on each skill. They can search to edtech equipment to do the large lifting of supporting unfinished learning so they can focus on the grade-level finding out.” 

A snapshot of math and science

YouGov done a survey of much more than 600 lecturers for Khan Academy amongst May well 16 and May 31, 2022. The online survey was weighted to replicate the total populace of K-12 academics. 

Subgroups in math and science had been determined. Amongst people, results present academics really feel fewer assured that they’re ready to detect learning gaps in science: 

  • 76% of science lecturers have been able to detect scholar studying gaps in science.
  • 97% of math instructors have been ready to detect scholar understanding gaps in math.

The findings launched currently are the initial time Khan Academy has surveyed a nationally consultant inhabitants of instructors to gauge sentiment about mastery discovering. The survey also exhibits which measures teachers assume will be the most impactful for helping children make up for shed learning time.

“Overall, I’m heartened by the findings,” Sal claims. “The results demonstrate academics consider in mastery studying and believe it is an critical solution for pandemic discovering gaps. Even though we have a good deal of do the job to do, we’re hopeful about what’s in advance.”

Methodology: All survey figures, except if otherwise mentioned, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size 639 academics. Fieldwork was undertaken concerning May well 16 – Could 31, 2022. The study was carried out on line. The figures have been weighted and are agent of US lecturers in kindergarten through 12th quality. If you’d like to see the complete study findings, please email [email protected] to acquire a PowerPoint report.


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Mamie M. Arndt