Mastery Learning in Mr. Vandenberg’s Class | Summary and Q&A

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October 9, 2019
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Khan Academy
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Mastery Learning in Mr. Vandenberg’s Class

TL;DR

A teacher in a low socioeconomic status school uses Khan Academy to help students master grade-level skills at their own pace and promote peer interaction.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What challenges does Tim face in teaching in a lower socioeconomic status school?

Tim faces the challenge of students coming to his class with significant learning gaps due to the traditional model of moving kids along by age without ensuring mastery of skills.

Q: How does Tim use Khan Academy to help his students master skills?

Tim assigns each student a whole unit on Khan Academy and allows them to work at their own pace. They receive instant feedback on their progress and have access to videos and hints for additional support.

Q: How does Khan Academy promote student interaction?

Instead of students being glued to their computer screens, Tim encourages peer interaction by having students sit next to each other and help each other with the material. This increases self-sufficiency and motivation.

Q: How does Tim use the data progress reports on Khan Academy to guide his instruction?

Tim analyzes the data progress reports on the teacher dashboard to identify students who are struggling and need extra help. He then adjusts his pace and instructional support accordingly.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The teacher, Tim Vandenberg, has been teaching for 25 years in a lower socioeconomic status area where 100% of the students are on free or reduced lunch.

  • Traditional teaching methods have resulted in students having significant gaps in their learning by the time they reach Tim's sixth grade class.

  • To address this, Tim assigns each student an entire unit on Khan Academy, where they work at their own pace, receive immediate feedback, and have access to videos and hints for extra help.

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