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How is Bombay Scottish School using Mastery Assessments?

Every student is capable of mastering every concept that we teach. How can we then allow partial understanding in our classrooms?

It takes time to understand

Not even Newton understood Descartes’ Geometry in one attempt; he read it 2-3 times before he began understanding it. Then, isn’t it unfair to expect students to understand after teaching just once? Finding the learning gaps and clearing the misconceptions is an important step in learning. But the more important step is ‘remediation’. After all, is there any use to just find the learning gaps?  

Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai, one of the top schools in India has been using Open Door’s Thinking Assessments program for quite some time now. Recently, a mastery cycle was completed at Bombay Scottish School and ~ 10 – 15% improvement was noticed in learning outcomes.

The role of questions in mastery learning

Most of the questions asked in the classrooms fail to test the actual understanding of the topic and due to lack of time, teachers are not able to make fresh questions.

How are Open Door’s questions any different?

We recently spoke to Mrs. Sunita George, the principal of Bombay Scottish School, Mumbai and she revealed that the learning environment in the school has transformed after the introduction of Open Door’s Mastery Assessments Program.

“There are more questions, more active learning in the classroom now. Open Door’s questions have opened their minds, their curiosity has peaked. Teachers are working hard in ensuring that the conceptual understanding is 100% among students.”
– Sunita George, Principal

The history and the future of mastery learning

Mastery Learning has been discussed for at least the last 300 years. It was famously studied by Benjamin Bloom in the 1960’s but it failed due to the impracticality of finding misconceptions without technology and designing multiple worksheets of good quality. Open Door spends a lot of time developing assessments with thought-provoking and interesting questions. Mastery Assessments is designed to fit into the school curriculum and the detailed reports are generated in a matter of 2 minutes or less.

In one of his research papers, Benjamin Bloom mentioned how it’s almost impossible for a school to implement Mastery Learning on it’s own, and without any outside help. In the 21st century, Open Door strives to be help to the schools. You can read more about Open Door's work here.


Aneesh Bangia

Aneesh Bangia is the co-founder of Open Door. He writes about the past, present and future of education.

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