At the beginning of the year I asked the teachers to try and develop a willingness in the children to practice purposefully. We call this deliberative practice… it combines with a “growth mindset” to create a fantastic attitude to learning…
Research into the history of education (dating back several thousand years), combined with more recent scientific experiments have uncovered a number of conditions for optimal learning and improvement. Again, from K. Anders Ericsson, here are the four essential components of deliberate practice.
When these conditions are met, practice improves accuracy and speed of performance on cognitive, perceptual, and motor tasks:
- You must be motivated to attend to the task and exert effort to improve your performance.
- The design of the task should take into account your pre-existing knowledge so that the task can be correctly understood after a brief period of instruction.
- You should receive immediate informative feedback and knowledge of results of your performance.
- You should repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks.
It’s important to note that without adequate feedback about your performance during practice, efficient learning is impossible and improvement is minimal.
Simple practice isn’t enough to rapidly gain skills.
Mere repetition of an activity won’t lead to improved performance.
Your practice must be: intentional, aimed at improving performance, designed for your current skill level, combined with immediate feedback and repetitious.