Mastery Learning

Citation: Huitt, W. (1996). Mastery learning. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date], from

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Basic Principles:


  1. Students have prerequisite skills to move to next unit
  2. Requires teachers to do task analysis, thereby becoming better prepared to teach the unit
  3. Requires teachers to state objectives before designating activities
  4. Can break cycle of failure (especially important for minority and disadvantaged students)


  1. Not all students will progress at same pace; this requires students who have demonstrated mastery to wait for those who have not or to individualize instruction
  2. Must have a variety of materials for reteaching:
  3. Must have several tests for each unit
  4. If only objective tests are used, can lead to memorizing and learning specifics rather than higher levels of learning

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