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Approach to Learning

Approach to Learning

How do we support mastery-based learning?


Our approach to content is personalized.

  • Each student’s education is developed and shaped by the student, working with our team.
  • Whenever possible, the education experience is customized to the student’s academic path and pace.
  • We leverage blended learning as an important tool in an effective personalized strategy.  


Our approach to context is project-based.

Students learn best when their school experiences have context and are connected to their lives and global affairs.

  • Real-life, augmented, and virtual contexts.

  • Students spend half their time at KLS learning through projects, often of their own design informed by their Independence Level.

  • All projects are interdisciplinary.

  • All projects connect to goals within the Graduate Profile (character strengths, cognitive skills, global citizenship, creation, purpose, independence, foundational fluencies, & deeper learning concepts).


Our approach to concepts is based in Inquiry and Mastery.​

  • Meaningful inquiry gives direction to student projects. Concepts, “the big ideas,” are explored through inquiry arcs. The inquiry connects knowledge from core skills to context and concepts.

  • Inquiries are geared toward solving real world problems. Students develop the skills to create meaningful inquiries themselves.

  • Learning and advancing through our curriculum happens when each student has fully mastered target objectives, concepts, and skills. In most schools, time spent learning is constant while the quality and level of content mastery varies. At KLS, the opposite is true: learning time is variable — but the quality and level of mastery for all students is constant.

Continuous Improvement

Our approach to continuous improvement is based in Assessment and the R&D Lab.​

  • The approach to learning is informed by diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment, goal tracking, frequent one-on-one conferences with teachers, and review of data from online tools. Qualitative and quantitative assessment data is shared with students and parents on an ongoing basis and during student-led parent-teacher conferences.

  • Research & Development Lab:
    As a lab school, we monitor existing and new findings in education research and learning science to inform our programmatic choices. We continuously reflect on our successes and challenges, student outcomes, and stakeholder feedback. And we commit to agile iteration to improve our program and share our learning broadly.

Approach to Learning at Khan Lab School