Master Adaptive Learner

The Master Adaptive Learner is a framework used by faculty in Binghamton University's Division of Physical Therapy.

The framework is designed to teach future physical therapists skills to succeed in the current healthcare climate and to promote lifelong learning. Future clinicians need to continually learn, adjust and innovate as new information and best practices evolve.

The Master Adaptive Learner framework is based on a metacognitive approach. Metacognition is a process of thinking about one’s own thinking; the awareness and understanding of one’s own thought process.

Using competency-based education as its foundation, Binghamton's Division of Physical Therapy will implement a variety of instructional methods throughout its curricula to foster characteristics of the Master Adaptive Learner.

Master Adaptive Learner Characteristics

  • Curiosity
  • Motivation
  • Growth mindset
  • Resilience


  • A desire for knowledge that leads to pursuit of that knowledge
  • Purposefully looks for challenging and intellectually stimulating activities


  • The what, why and where of doing something
  • Desire to solve problems and/or fill a gap in knowledge
  • Driven by a personal interest

Growth mindset

  • A belief that abilities, like intelligence, can improve with dedication and hard work
  • Embrace challenges
  • Accept critical feedback
  • Invest in learning


  • Process of adapting in the face of adversity
  • To cope and recover from life’s challenges

A student who possesses these traits will be well-positioned to succeed and learn in a variety of formats and settings, including academic programs offered by the Division of Physical Therapy, and ultimately to provide high-quality care in the healthcare workforce.