Hyde Park Middle School
The Academy of Science and Mathematics

Learning for Mastery

Math & Science Academy » Education for Mastery

Education for Mastery

Hyde Park Academy of Science and Mathematics



Why is our motto “Education for Mastery”?


At the Academy, our goal has always been to assist our students in developing understanding – REAL understanding.  While that may be the goal, making it become a reality is the tricky part.


In order for our students to be able to develop and share deep understanding, it is critical for them to be engaged in activity and performance.  As we all know, learning is not a passive activity.  We also know that if we really understand something we are capable of going beyond the level of information “spit back” and are able to actually do something with what we have learned.  That is the whole point of learning.  We want the same thing from our students – the ability to exhibit understanding performances.  We want them to demonstrate both knowledge AND the ability to use that knowledge.


What follows is a list of some of the performances that exhibit understanding.

  • EXPLANATION – explain in student’s own words
  • EXEMPLIFICATION – give examples
  • APPLICATION – use examples to explain something else
  • JUSTIFICATION – off evidence to support your position
  • COMPARISON AND CONTRAST – relate your position to similar and dissimilar situations
  • CONTEXTUALIZATION – examine your position in relation to the broad topic
  • GENERALIZATION – cite general principles determined through the investigation


Our pedagogy is focused on our students developing conceptual understanding of a discipline.  The instructional emphasis is on learning key concepts and making increasingly sophisticated generalizations.  In short, we help our students learn how to learn.


By definition, mastery of a concept is attained when that concept can be applied.  Mastery occurs when our students are able to actually use what they have learned.  Providing our students with the opportunity for this type of understanding is our purpose.


This is why our promise at Hyde Park Academy is to provide “Education for Mastery.”