In this blog post I am going to try and connect the idea of mastery learning with the report on future jobs. With this connection I will attempt to establish an argument that in today’s world, mastery learning is only as important as the skill or subject you’re learning.
Mastery learning is an idea that was first formally proposed by Benjamin Bloom in 1968. It is an instructional strategy and educational philosophy that holds that students must achieve a level of mastery in prerequisite knowledge before moving forward to learn subsequent information.
According to Bloom, if a student does not achieve mastery on a test, they should be given additional support in learning and reviewing the information and then be tested again. This cycle should continue until the student accomplishes mastery. Mastery level could possibly be anything between 80% – 90%.
The 2018 future of jobs report by World Economic Forum states the following about skills:
By 2022, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and up skilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require additional training of up to six months, 9% will require reskilling lasting six to 12 months, while 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year. Skills continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include analytical thinking and innovation as well as active learning and learning strategies. Sharply increasing importance of skills such as technology design and programming highlights the growing demand for various forms of technology competency identified by employers surveyed for this report.
The world is transforming, companies are transforming yet the workforce is lagging. This is caused by the transformational disconnect between companies, employees and the education systems. Graduates leaving universities are not as transformed as industries expect them to be.
If we are going to implement mastery learning in schools, it should be implemented correctly.
We have to ensure that the subjects or careers students choose are transformational. This would make things easier should they be required to upskill in future.
Students should be encouraged to master what is necessary to the economy. Mastery learning stresses that some students be given more time. While time is money, an implementation of this idea has to be focused on necessary skills that will meet transformational industries.