||Modeling Language Spotlight
Learning Path: Five Points of Mastery
July 10, 1997
Editor's Note: This model was developed by the Knowledge
Works Consortium during a DesignShop® event held at the Orlando Management
Center in February of 1992. Participants included Gail Taylor, Bobbi DePorter,
David Blanchard, Michael Kaufman, Bryan Coffman, Paul Bartoo, Robert Darling,
Mark Reardon, Jeffery Barrett, Rick Tabb, Merle O'Neill, and Marjorie Dunn.
The following article is excerpted from the team's Proposal to the New American
Schools Development Corporation, entitled, "Redesigning Our Future."
Like the other models of the MG Taylor® Modeling Language,
the Five Points of Mastery Model is protected by copyright. You can use
it only by meeting these four conditions.
We Believe. . .
- Learning is a lifelong experience that begins at birth and never ends.
- There is a direct relationship between self image and learning.
- Environments affect learning. Learning is optimized in creative, trusting
environments that provide experience, exploration, risk-taking, and mastery.
- Learning is an interdependent process involving cooperation and collaboration.
- Learning involves the engagement of body, mind and spirit.
- An individual's potential for learning is unknown; without high expectations
this potential may never be realized. People excel when they experience high
expectations and appropriate challenge.
- Peak performance is driven by vision and a hunger for a "preferred"
- Learning is a multi-modal, multi-sensory, multi-intelligences experience.
- Each individual is responsible for his/her learning and for contributing
to the learning of others.
- Education is not the same thing as training. To educate means "to lead
forward" and thus to guide an open-ended process, characterized by self-conscious
and discretionary activity. To train means "to draw or drag behind"
and refers to a closed process of making things habitual or automatic. Learning
requires both education and training.
- Learning happens at different rates for each individual; it can be facilitated
but not forced, as it occurs when the individual is ready.
- Learning is best achieved by defining the learning process as a system and
continually taking action to optimize the performance of that system.
- By establishing a system which both exemplifies and expects responsibility
from each individual, and which embeds life-long learning into every segment
of society, full and healthy employment will result.
The Learning Path: Five Points of Mastery Model
Our human Learning Path begins at birth. From infancy, the learner embarks on
a course that nourishes the innate love for exploration and discovery. A community
expecting life-long learning and life-long contributions from its members acts
to remove whatever blocks this natural process of growth.
Just as every individual is unique, every learner's learning path is unique.
We visualize these through a five part life learning model we call the "Five
Points of Mastery." Each individual, formally and informally, moves in
and out of these roles throughout their life, gaining a level of mastery of
each, as appropriate to his or her life stage.
These roles are: the Learner, the Facilitator-Guide, the Sponsor-Advocate-Advisor,
the Steward, and the Expert.
These names were deliberately and carefully chosen to compel a re-examination
of these roles, as they apply to each student, each teacher, and each member
of the learning environment and community at large.
A vital task for the Facilitator-Guide is monitoring these roles, being aware
when a learner moves from role to role, and guiding a learner to the role appropriate
for their needs. Similarly the Facilitator-Guide is often placed in the position
of Learner, Sponsor, Expert or Steward. Moving between roles, responses change,
responsibilities change and opportunities for growth change. Educational plans
are conceived, developed, planned and executed with these changing roles in
An explorer, innovator, self-developer, model-builder and action-taker who is
receptive to ideas and guidance, able to reflect and act creatively, learns
how to access information and create value from it for self and others. A unique
set of contacts--family, peers, facilitators, sponsors, experts, and community
members--comprise the Learner's constantly evolving learning network.
One who helps others frame their experience, providing information, concepts
and models, linking to new information and avenues of exploration, encouraging
further exploration, guiding discussion among learners and removing blocks (both
conceptual and material) to the creative process for an individual or team.
The Facilitator crafts and delivers challenges that spark individual and team
innovation and provokes Learners to break through imagined limits.
A Learner works with one or several facilitators; in each case, the learner
and facilitator together create a learning contract and invent appropriate experiences
and products. Learners engage in many projects simultaneously, incorporating
strands from the core curriculum to weave the necessary framework of understanding
and mastery. The Facilitator and the Learner, jointly responsible, manage both
process and content.
[Note: the term Sponsor has been added to the original advocate-advisor
role because of its importance in our network. Sponsor also seems to capture
the essence of the role.] The Sponsor provides the feedback and boundaries
that ensure the learning path is effective and balanced, that options are clearly
seen, that effort is required and rewarded, and that performance assessments--provided
as feedback--are understood and interpreted correctly. The Sponsor's challenge
is to optimize the performance of the individual Learner's network. The Sponsor
and Learner together plan the Learner's next steps, taking into account the
whole person, the individual's talents and interests, and the need to ensure
breadth in the curriculum as well as depth in areas of special interest. The
Sponsor provides continuity and perspective. Sponsors may change, depending
upon the goals of the Learner.
The Expert develops specialized knowledge to a high degree in a given body of
knowledge and is a resource to others. Everyone has expertise to share; everyone
applies their expertise to create value for themselves and others, as participants
in this learning environment.
The Steward applies talents and knowledge in service to others--in stewardship
of the community and ultimately of the world. Stewardship means holding a vision
for yourself, your community, and your world, and being committed to actualizing
that vision. The only way to steward anything is to engage with what we are
stewarding in a cybernetic, whole systems manner. By learning anticipatory design,
we steward our future as well as our present.
Stewardship encompasses stewarding what we value, what we invent, our personal
growth, the growth of others, the health of our communities and the natural
environment. Stewardship arises from the philosophy that "all life is sacred"
rather than "everything is a commodity."
Copyright © 1992, The Knowledge Works Consortium
Glyphs Copyright © 1997, MG Taylor Corporation. All rights reserved
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