Predicting Greatness & Matery: A Case Study On Deliberate Practice
Very Important Excerpts (Via StudyHacks)
I’m fascinated by Teach For America for a simple reason: the traits they discovered at the core of great teaching are unmistakably a variant of deliberate practice — not the pure, coach-driven practice of professional athletes and chess grandmasters, but a hearty, adaptable strain that’s applicable to almost any field.
Put another way, these outstanding teachers may have unwittingly cracked the code for generating a remarkable life…
What Makes Great Teachers Great?
“Strong teachers insist that effective teaching is neither mysterious nor magical,” says Ripley. “It is neither a function of dynamic personality nor dramatic performance.”
Instead, Teach for America has identified the following traits as the most important for high-performing teachers such as Taylor:
- They set big goals for their students and are perpetually looking for ways to improve their effectiveness.
(In the Atlantic article, Teach for America’s in-house professor, Steve Farr, noted that when he sets up visits with superstar teachers they often say something like: “You’re welcome to come, but I have to warn you — I am in the middle of just blowing up my classroom structure…because I think it’s not working as well as it could.” )
- They’re obsessed about focusing every minute of classroom time toward student learning.
- They plan exhaustively and purposefully, “working backward from the desired outcome.”
- They work “relentlessly”…”refusing to surrender.”
- They keep students and their families involved in the process
Freestyle Deliberate Practice
Here are the main components of Taylor’s approach to deliberate practice:
- Build an obsession with a clear goal.
- Work backwards from the goal to plan your attack.
- Expend hard focus toward this goal every day.
- Ruthlessly evaluate and modify your approach to remove what doesn’t work and improve what does.