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Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

Connecticut Technical High School System

Program Title:

Mastery-based Learning (MBL) Model for mathematics

Categories that best describes your program:

  • STEM
  • Technology
  • Curriculum/Student Achievement

Grade Levels:

  • High School

Description of the program:

Mastery-based Learning (MBL) Model for mathematics is an instructional strategy to teach math to CTHSS students.  The goal of the program is for students to utilize technology, interact with their peers and teachers to master each mathematics unit before moving onto the next.  Each unit addresses the readiness and processing speed of the student so the task is not simple enough to bore them, and does not frustrate them by being too challenging.

How it Works:

Students learn through a technology software program named ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) and through the interaction of various problem-solving activities.  While using the ALEKS software, students work independently and with imbedded instruction, and the use of web-based videos and games.  Peers aid in the learning process and the teacher enhances the learning process by acting as a coach/facilitator for learning.

The technology software program assesses the students and monitors their growth.  Each student is reassessed until they reach a level of predetermined proficiency.  Once they have mastered a unit, then they will move onto the next unit until the course is completed.

In addition to the ALEKS software program, student learning activities engage them in problem-solving activities on a regular basis to help develop a well-rounded approach.  These problem-solving activities promote the skills needed to "think mathematically,' while applying math to the real world.

Student progress is reported weekly and quarterly reports include feedback on student effort and work habits, progress through the curriculum and their mutually set goals.  End of course grades are based solely on their academic performance on:

  • tests and quizzes
  • their problem-solving assessments.

Why it Works:

The MBL Model is successful because it is based on Student-Centered Learning.  It is achievement-based to ensure learning and preparation for future math courses and helps to develop 21st century skills like independent learning, collaboration, problem-solving and using technology effectively.  The instruction matches a student's needs while still challenging them to demonstrate a high standard of success.

  • Students who have strong background knowledge and are motivated and work hard have the opportunity to complete multiple courses in a year.
  • Students who need to move slower or develop background knowledge will be given the opportunity to solidify their learning before moving on.

For more information on this program please visit:

Contact Information:

Alexander Pitsas