Sunday, February 28, 2010

Change the Term

Don't use the word mastery.  We don't deal with mastery in Education.  (I have ranted about this before.)  The right word is competence.  If we do our job right then the student becomes competent.

Maybe later when they put the required 10,000 hours of work in then they really will achieve mastery.


Rob Wall said...

Agreed. Mastery is a rather lofty goal and really only occurs if someone has a burning passion to master a specific activity (video games are good at stirring the longing for mastery). If my students master what we do in school, they know far more than I do. About the only thing I have mastered is genetics as it was known 20 years ago.

Gary Ball said...

I personally have not mastered anything. I am a tinkerer. A tinkerer learns how to do a little bit of everything but usually moves on before they can achieve mastery.

If one of my students does learn more than me about the subject area then doesn't that mean that I was really successful?

Ryan Nickell said...

So should we change the goals of the curriculum guides to "tinkering"? You may be onto something here? One question though...should mastery be a goal for a skill or not?

Ryan Nickell said...

I see you still moderate you comments...Hitler.

Gary Ball said...

People should strive for mastery in at least one area. As a school I think we should instill the desire to achieve mastery. We should help with the foundations that lead to mastery but we don't have the time to get the students there ourselves. I agree with Rob - somebody needs a burning passion to work towards mastery.

As for the tinkering - aren't we more concerned with breadth of knowledge rather than the depth in school? That is exactly what tinkering is - jack of all trades and master of none.