One Standard, Two Students: What Demonstrating Mastery Looks Like


How Two Students Met One Standard In personalized, competency-based learning environments, students have the opportunity to demonstrate mastery by doing more than just taking a test or writing a paper – they can make meaningful connections between what they’re learning and what matters to them. But many educators and families wonder what this actually looks like.

Let me share one example with you.

Jasen and Riya are working toward the same learning target, but their approach to how they’ll demonstrate what they’ve learned is totally different, taking their own interests and passions into account. Jasen and Riya were able to uniquely show mastery of the content because the expectations for learning were transparent, and they were taught how to apply their interests to the standard and at the identified depth of knowledge.

Personalized learning looks different, which makes questions and uncertainty a natural response. But when students are empowered to own their learning and recognize the value in it, the impact is profound. Reaching mastery in highly personalized ways is accelerated and strengthened by strong learner agency. This culture of learner agency validates kids and their interests, histories and challenges.