Australia’s national education evidence body

This document provides a suggested outline for facilitating a group session where teachers can use the mastery learning in English video to reflect on their own practice. It could also provide guidance for activities for self-directed reflection.

Cover of mastery learning in English group facilitation guide

This resource was created by Ochre Education in partnership with AERO. 

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The activities in the resource aim to:

  • build knowledge of mastery learning and of AERO’s guidance in this area
  • assist in developing teaching strategies involving mastery learning
  • encourage teachers to embed mastery learning in their practice.

Australian Professional Standards

Facilitator preparation

The following is an example checklist to help you prepare for the session.

Review the materials

  • Read AERO’s Tried and Tested Mastery learning practice guide.
  • Watch the mastery learning in English video. Note down any key points that would be valuable for your team and any aspects you think might need clarification.

Plan the session

  • Make sure to give your team sufficient notice about the session so they have time to do the pre-work.
  • Consider how the session can specifically assist your school and your students.
  • Think about what you want all participants to be able to do as a result of this session. For instance: to be able to identify what it is they want their students to know and be able to do as a result of a sequence of lessons, or how they might collect information that students have progressed in their learning.

Consider how change will be promoted in your school

  • Consider the team’s current understanding of mastery learning and how they plan for students to master desired skills and knowledge.
  • What will it look like when students have mastered the desired skills and knowledge?

Prepare to facilitate

  • Read through this resource and highlight the key elements and the questions you plan to ask.
  • ‘Road-test’ the session with one of your colleagues to clarify any aspects of mastery learning that you are unsure about and to make sure you are confident with each step.

'Mastery learning in English' video

In this video, Melissa Garstang-Leary explains how she uses mastery learning in her English lessons.

Attendee preparation

The following is an example checklist of pre-session work to set participants before they attend.

  • Read AERO’s Tried and Tested Mastery learning practice guide.
  • Identify one aspect of Mastery learning that you would like to learn more about.View annotation
  • Think of an example lesson where you broke down complex skills or knowledge into smaller instructional tasks and allowed students to practise the tasks until they mastered them.

Mastery learning session agenda

The following outlines a possible agenda for a 45 minute group session.

Post-session review

This could be in the form of another meeting, online session, peer coaching session or some other format agreed by the group.

  • Share and review the practice activities each team member shared with the team, if they are happy for this to happen.
  • Reconvene the team after several weeks to review key aspects of mastery learning and to share experiences. Questions to ask could include:
    • What changes to practice have been relatively simple?
    • What parts have been challenging for you?
    • How can the school assist you to implement mastery learning in your classroom?

Meeting reflection

It is important for you to reflect on the session and the progress of your team. The following questions can help you think about the outcomes and next steps for improving your mastery learning practice.

  • Were there differences in expertise between members of the group?
  • Are there members of the team who you felt left the meeting still a little unsure of what mastery learning in practice looks like? What could you do to follow up and provide support?
  • What are the aspects of mastery learning that require further learning?
  • What parts of the session worked well for the group?
  • What aspects were less successful?

For more information

More resources from our partnership with Ochre Education: 

Teaching practices in Ochre lessons

This collection of videos examine the Tried and Tested practices and instructional decision-making in Ochre Education's lessons. Areas covered include mastery learning, formative assessment and explicit instruction.

Lesson resources by Ochre

We have partnered with Ochre Education to provide teachers with hundreds of free curriculum resources. These resources have been created by teachers for teachers.

Practice hub

A central point for teachers to access AERO resources, which have been tailored to the Australian context and include 'Tried and Tested' practice guides, implementation tools, case studies and research evidence.
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