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December 2013/January 2014 | Volume 71 | Number 4
Getting Students to Mastery
Thomas R. Guskey and Eric M. Anderman
What way of thinking about mastery will most effectively guide curriculum and instruction?
Mastery is a term that all educators use and believe they understand well. But when pressed to describe precisely what it means to "master" a concept, skill, or subject, everyone has a different definition.
We can trace the concept of mastery back to the time of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. In the 13th century, becoming a member of a guild raised one's social status and income potential. The process followed a specific sequence of steps, from apprentice to journeyman to master. Individuals progressed from apprentice to journeyman after learning the rudiments of the profession. They could then advance from journeyman to master only by producing a masterpiece that satisfied the existing members of the guild. In other words, competence could be achieved, but mastery was conferred (Lucus-McEwen, 2010).
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Copyright © 2013 by Thomas R. Guskey and Eric M. Anderman
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