For half a century, the norm for classes in schools has been the Cram–Pass–Forget cycle—students cram for tests, pass them, and then forget most of what they crammed in just a few weeks. This is a destructive and failed educational approach that has ruined education. In this workshop, teacher and writer John Mays presents a transformative mastery-based teaching and learning model. This proven approach is successful at enabling students to replace cramming, passing, and forgetting with learning, mastering, and retaining what they have learned. The course is designed for classroom teachers and homeschool parents and tutors. John treats the subject in detail from the general informing principles to the small nuts and bolts of daily practice. Examples focus on science instruction, but the same principles can be applied in any subject.


Instructional Hours: 6.92, CEU Credits: 1

This course follows the organizational scheme below:

  • Intro: The Science Mastery Workshop

  • Lesson 1: The Cram-Pass-Forget Cycle and Its Consequences, Pt.1

  • Lesson 2: The Cram-Pass-Forget Cycle and Its Consequences, Pt. 2

  • Lesson 3: The Cram-Pass-Forget Cycle and Its Consequences, Pt.3

  • Lesson 4: Findings of Mastery Learning Research

  • Lesson 5: How Mastery-Based Pedagogy Addresses the Problem

  • Lesson 6: Testimonials and Stories

  • Lesson 7: Prerequisites for the Success of Mastery-based Pedagogy

  • Lesson 8: Strategies for Promoting Mastery and Retention

  • Lesson 9: Assessment Practices, Pt. 1

  • Lesson 10: Assessment Practices, Pt. 2

  • Lesson 11: Assessment Practices, Pt. 3

  • Lesson 12: Enabling Strategies

  • Lesson 13: Analysis of Student Performance, Pt. 1

  • Lesson 14: Analysis of Student Performance, Pt. 2

  • Lesson 15: Communications with Students and Parents

  • Lesson 16: Mastery in a Vacum vs. In a Community

  • Lesson 17: Mastery and Our Future

John Mays’ degrees include a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Master of Education degree in Secondary Education from the University of Houston, a Master of Liberal Arts degree from St. Edwards University. He also has completed 36 hours of graduate study in the field of Physics. John worked as an engineer and engineering manager for 14 years from 1982 to 1999, with a break for graduate study and teaching appointments.

John entered the field of education in 1985 teaching math in the public school system. Since then he has also taught science and math professionally in various Christian high schools. He was instructor of 20th-century literature at St. Edwards University for nine years and taught statistics and linear algebra at Concordia University for six years. He taught full-time at Regents School of Austin from 1999-2012, serving as Math-Science Department Chair for eight years, and established the Regents Laser Optics Lab. John is the author of Novare’s physics and chemistry textbooks plus many resources including The Student Lab Report Handbook, Teaching Science so that Students Learn Science and Science for Every Teacher.

He has three adult children and lives with his wife in Seguin, Texas.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete each presentation lesson or discussion in the course (by marking it complete or by taking the quiz) and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload one or more essays demonstrating your understanding of the course. (Please note that essays are simply evaluated by word count.) When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will become available within “My Courses” (accessible under “Courses” in the main menu when you are signed in as an active subscriber).

We recommend previewing the essay question within the end of course test before starting the course. This will help in guiding your note taking as you progress through the course. Please allow approximately 2 weeks for essay submissions to be reviewed.

Note: This information is not needed by any current subscribers. (This tab provides an alternative way into just some of our courses that is used by independent consultants.)

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