Master and move on!
In the last 100 years, behavioural scientists have made profound discoveries regarding
how humans learn. These discoveries have led to the ever-evolving development of
evidence based teaching methodologies, Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching. Both
instructional methods that are based on the concepts of mastery and repeated practice –
two things that are generally lacking in tradition methods of education.
More often than not, traditional education focuses on providing students with learning
experiences without ever mastering concepts before moving on – this is based on the
premise that exposure to learning experiences is sufficient to master and complex subject
matters. As such, early childhood students are expected to write stories, regardless of the
fact that they may only just be beginning to form letter or recall information, or order ideas
– never mind complex skills of grammar.
Both Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching methods are based on the principle that
complexities within learning can be broken down into component skills, and that these
presented to students in a multitude of ways through repeated practiced until mastery is
attained. Elite sportspersons understand these concepts well – to be an expert basket-
baller you need to master the component skills of ball handling, dribbling, footwork, speed,
footwork, shooting goals, passing – and these are separately practiced to mastery before
they expect to be experts on the court. Similarly, one cannot effectively perform
academically without mastery of component skills of fluent reading, writing, math
numeracy and computation – and the myriad of other components that allow students to
learn complex skills.
When students are given the time required to learn and master the basics, more complex
skills emerge automatically, with little to no training. Unfortunately, within the Australian
schooling system, early steps are often skipped and students are prematurely exposed
complex skills at the top of a curriculum ladder. Within precision teaching, the goal of
educating children is of far higher value than satisfying teaching criteria on a term by term
True mastery of component skills is the core of precision teaching. By definition, this
means that a skill is neurologically permanent, resistant to distractions and fatigue, and
usable for the learning of more complex skills. Fluency , which is measured as accuracy
plus speed, is the most appropriate measure of skill mastery and reliably predicts the
desired outcomes described above. It is known that fluency can only be achieved through
repeated and reinforced practice of skills over time.
At Fit Learning, we ensure consistent and ongoing measurement of skills specific to each
learner so fluency can be reliably determined. Thus, when a student is fluent across a
broad array of components, or core skill areas, they experience a transformation as
learners. At Fit Learning, our Mission Statement is to transform the learning abilities of all
children who walk through our doors, thus creating an environment where learners can
build a fluent foundation at their pace until students can demonstrate cognitive fitness —
the ability to perform as an expert in any academic setting on any type of task.
If your child is struggling academically, it is important to know that there is likely nothing
wrong with your child but something missing in their instructional environment. What is
likely missing is that they are being moved on truly mastering skills. What eventuates from
this type of teaching environment is a majority of struggling students simply require the
opportunity to practice essential academic skills to mastery. To book your child in for a Fit
Comprehensive Skills Assessment to determine which components they missing or have
not obtained fluency in, contact us on (08) 6110-9348.