American Sociological Association

In Search of Greater Understanding: The Impact of Mastery Learning on Social Science Education

Mastery learning approaches were designed to improve student learning and elevate the level of understanding across a broader swath of students. These approaches operate under the belief that all students are capable of learning if given enough time. Little research has examined the utility or applicability of a mastery learning approach for social sciences outside of research methods courses. This study provides a review of the relevant literature on mastery learning, a discussion of the applicability of this approach to the teaching and learning of social sciences, and a review of the process and results of the conversion of more traditionally organized and taught courses to a mastery learning approach. Overall, our evaluation provides evidence that a mastery learning approach can make a significant impact on student learning.


Patrick R. Cundiff, Olivia McLaughlin, Katherine Brown, and Keiondra Grace





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