Sora’s Innovative Approach: Mastery-Based Learning

The current system of education was designed, conceived, and structured for a different age. It was conceived in the intellectual culture of the Enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the Industrial Revolution.

Sir Ken Robinson

Public education has remained largely unchanged over the past century. Standardized testing became a nationwide phenomenon one hundred years ago in the 1920s. To this day, the public school system uses standardized testing to assess students’ academic success. 

Why? Because standardized test results are easy to measure, compare, and report. 

But just because these test results are easy to measure doesn’t mean they’re measuring students’ learning. Academic research finds that the relationship between standardized test scores and academic success is weak. This means that test scores are bad at predicting students’ future success. 

At Sora, we implement a smarter, more effective way to assess our students called mastery-based learning.

What Is Mastery-Based Learning?

Mastery-based learning is a form of instruction and assessment based on students’ demonstrated competence related to learning goals and skills. You can get away with passing an Algebra exam without knowing how to problem-solve and use Algebra in life outside of school. Mastery-based learning switches the focus of education from remembering answers to internalizing how to actually use your knowledge.

This form of assessment has grown in popularity over the past decade in response to rising education standards. Today’s global economy and job market demand a higher level of competency from graduating seniors than they did twenty years ago–never mind a century ago. 

Mastery-based learning offers a smarter pathway that better prepares students for modern standards.

Mastery-Based Learning Closes Gaps In Education

According to a meta-analysis of 108 studies, mastery-based learning improves students’ performance from upper elementary school to college. The greatest boost in performance was found in students who didn’t perform as well as their classmates previously. This kind of learning helps level the playing field and prevents students from being left behind. 

If your student has struggled fitting to the standard mold, considering a school that implements mastery-based learning could be a great option.

Mastery-Based Learning Promotes High-Level Skill Development

Since this competency-based approach to learning isn’t limited by standardized tests, educators are freer to teach students higher-level skills. In one study, mastery-based learning helped over 90 percent of students gain competence in systems analysis and design skills. These are critical skills used in a variety of industries in the professional world:

System analysis experts are regularly called upon to glance critically at systems and redesign or suggest changes as vital. Inside and outside of the business world, systems analysis helps to assess whether a system is feasible or effective inside the setting of its general design and helps to reveal the alternatives accessible to the employing industry or another party.

Riya Kumari, Analytic Steps

Mastery-Based Learning At Sora

At Sora, we proudly implement mastery-based learning to provide premium education to students. Our students learn all the basic knowledge in core subjects that they would at a traditional school. But they also learn so much more. 

Our students demonstrate their learning by applying their knowledge in our project-based curriculum. Sora’s STEM Expert, Carolyn, shares how students demonstrate their math and science knowledge through real-world applications: 

I said, “Let’s develop an app that helps reduce the spread of COVID.” That’s all I said. So they created an app that could help their communities monitor risk for COVID. That’s exponential functions. We talked about exponential growth, as well as exponential decay with the vaccines. While they’re learning this math, they’re also addressing the biology of this disease. 

Interested In Learning More? 

If you’d like to learn more about our innovative high school program, click here to speak with our admissions team.

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