Thursday / April 25

What is Mastery Learning?

Revisiting learning targets together throughout a lesson.


Anderson, S. A. (1994, November). Synthesis of research on mastery learning. ERIC Report ED382567. 18pp.

Blair, C. (2016). Developmental science and executive function. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(1), 3-7.

Block, J. H., & Burns, R. B. (1976). Mastery learning. In L. Shulman (Ed.), Review of Research in Education (Vol. 4, pp. 3-49). Peacock.

Bloom, B. S. (1968). Learning for mastery. Evaluation Comment (UCLA-CSIEP), 1(2), 1-12.

Bloom, B. S. (1971). Individual Differences in School Achievement: A Vanishing Point? Phi Delta Kappan International.

Enyedy, N. (2014). Personalized Instruction: New Interest, Old Rhetoric, Limited Results, and the Need for a New Direction for Computer-Mediated Learning. National Education Policy Center. Retrieved from:

Eyre, H. L. (2007). Keller’s personalized system of instruction: Was it a fleeting fancy or is there a revival on the horizon? The Behavior Analyst Today, 8(3), 317-324.

Eyre, H. L., Parks, K., & Crone-Todd, D. E. (2006, October). Student unit test persistence in a mastery-based general psychology course. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, Greenville, SC.

Green, P. (2019, May 2). Report: Can personalized learning actually deliver? Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from:

Guskey, T. R. (1994). Bloom’s “Learning for Mastery” revisited: Modern perspectives and misinterpretations. Outcomes, 13, 16-39.

Guskey, T. R., & Pigott, T. D. (1988). Research on group-based mastery learning programs: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Research, 81(4), 197-216.

Hammerschmidt-Snidarich, S. M., Edwards, L. M., Christ, T. J., & Thayer, A. J. (2019). Leveraging technology: A multi-component personalized system of instruction to teach sight words. Journal of School Psychology, 72(1), 150-171.

Heffernan, N. T. (2019). Don’t eliminate homework. Make it more effective. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(6), 80.

Hirsch, E. D. (2017). Why knowledge matters: Rescuing our children from failed educational theories. Harvard University Press.

Keller, F. S. (1968). Goodbye, teacher….. Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 1, 78-89.

Kirschner, P. A., & van Merrinboer, J. J. G. (2013). Do learners really know best? Urban legends in education. Educational Psychologist, 48(3), 169-183.

Klecker, B. M., & Chapman, A. (2008, November). Advocating the implementation of mastery learning in higher education to increase student learning and retention. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, Knoxville, TN. (ERIC Number: ED503410)

Kulik, C. C., Kulik, J. A., & Bangert-Drowns, R. L. (1990). Effectiveness of mastery learning programs: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 60(2), 265-299.

Kulik, J. A., Kulik, C. C., & Cohen, P. A. (1979). A meta-analysis of outcome studies of Keller’s personalized system of instruction. American Psychologist, 34, 307-318.

Lamwers, L. L., & Jazwinski, C. H. (1989). A comparison of three strategies to reduce student procrastination in PSI. Teaching of Psychology, 16(1), 8-12.

Miles, K (2010). Mastery learning and academic achievement. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Walden University. Retrieved from:

Paiva, R. C., Ferreira, M. S., & Frade, M. M. (2017). Intelligent tutorial system based on personalized system of instruction to teach or remind mathematical concepts. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33(4), 370-381.

Raiser, R. A. (1980). Interaction between locus of control and three pacing procedures in a personalized system of instruction course. Educational Communication and Technology, 28, 194-202.

Ross, S. M., & Rakow, E. A. (1981). Learner control versus program control as adaptive strategies for selection of instructional support on math rules. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 745-753.

Sherman, J. G. (1992). Reflections on PSI: Good news and bad. Journal of Behavioral Analysis, 25(1), 59-64.

Steenbergen-Hu, S., & Cooper, H. (2013). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of intelligent tutoring systems on K-12 students’ mathematical learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 970-987.

Thompson, S. B. (1980). Do individualized mastery and traditional instructional systems yield different course effects in college calculus? American Educational Research Journal, 17, 361-375.

Young, A. (2019). Personalized system of instruction in physical education. International Journal of Arts and Humanities, 5(1), 13-15.

Written by

Thomas R. Guskey, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. He is the author/editor of twenty-five books and over three hundred articles published in prominent research journals as well as Educational Leadership, Kappan, and School Administrator. His most recent book, Implementing Mastery Learning, 3ed is essential reading for teachers, school leaders, professional learning communities, and anyone who believes that all students can learn well, achieve success, and become confident learners.

No comments

leave a comment