The Mastery Approach

What if learning was seen as an opportunity to grow and showcase your strengths? What if failure and success were valued as necessary to progress? What if who I am, how I learn, how I practice, and my dreams of who I want to be were seen first? What if I were encouraged to master a skill not simply memorize content?

Tilton School approaches teaching, learning and living with these questions in mind.

The Mastery Approach is a customized learning process that incorporates the best educational practices using authentic, purposeful investigations, guided self-reflection, and honest, thoughtful feedback designed for a student to assess and grow their aptitudes, skills, interests, and strengths. It is not a one-size-fits-all model. Nor does it occur just in the classroom, but in every aspect of life at Tilton.

The Mastery Approach puts the student in the driver’s seat of their education. It is not just a curriculum. It’s about providing opportunities for students to show their strengths, explore their interests and discover their potential. We do this through Our Learning Approach and Our Learning Process.

Our Learning Approach

Knowledge + Skills + Opportunity = Potential

Who am I? What do I know? Who do I want to become?
An intentional investigation of these questions in all aspects of life facilitates a deeper understanding of a students strengths and aptitudes.


What am I good at? What do I want to improve? What makes me unique?
Students test and apply current, learned and unrecognized skills in order to refine and improve their skills.


What can I do with the knowledge and skills I have? How and where can I apply my strengths?
We provide the opportunities and experiences students need to answer these questions through exploration, partnerships, community, intensives, wellness and academics.


The convergence of a students knowledge, skills and provided opportunity is where each student will discover and realize their own potential. Our goal is tor provide each student with a sense of purpose, the confidence, and the tools to navigate and flourish in a world marked by diversity and change.

Our Learning Process

Forge Ignite Dive Launch
Our learning process consists of four distinct recognizable areas and is not grade specific.
  • Forge is where all students start their learning process and is a discovery stage.
  • Ignite is where the students explores their skills and strengths.
  • Dive is where the student purposefully explores their interests and increases their understanding of where and how they can apply their skills and strengths to their interests.
  • Launch is where students demonstrate their strengths and skills in their interests. They have a a clear understanding of who they are, what they are good at, and what their passions are.

The process results in a deeper understanding and more accurate application of a student’s strengths, skills, and interests.

The Mastery Approach is how we learn, teach and live.

A Tilton School education provides our graduates with a powerful sense of purpose that ensures that no matter how the world changes, they will have the skills and motivation to positively contribute to the world as lifelong learners who find joy and fulfillment in creating meaningful change.

Why ask "Why?"

We believe that when adolescents become truly aware of their own strengths and weaknesses they are more engaged in setting goals and paths that are meaningful to them. An opportunity for self-discovery serves as a link to confidence, independence, and joy. This personalized experience awakens a drive to know more, specifically in areas of significant interest and passion, resulting in a greater depth of knowledge.

Complex challenges require creative thinkers who approach problems with the understanding that asking important questions can provide as much value as having the answers.

We encourage our students to seek their own questions because it naturally provides a focus on learning how to learn and promotes critical thinking.

Find out how the mastery approach fuels our personalized Guided Program of Study.

Explore the Guided Program of Study