"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

10,000 hours...

Erin over at Bearing Blog linked to this interesting article. This part stuck out at me like a brightly flashing beacon:

The emerging conclusion is that experts in many fields (sports, literature, composition, performance of every kind) need about 10,000 hours of practice time to achieve world-class levels of proficiency. 10,000 hours is the equivalent of 3 hours a day, seven days a week, for a period of 10 years. These studies do not address the differences in the efficacy of practicing for different people (which is known to vary widely). But when we're discussing performers on the level of Michael Jordan or Philip Roth or Yo Yo Ma, there apparently have not been cases where truly world class expertise was developed in less time.

Maybe why that is why the scholar phase is geared toward 8 hours of study for 5-6 days a week for 4 years. That adds up to 10,000 hours. Isn't interesting that Oliver DeMille included that as part of the TJEd plan.

As my oldest approaches Scholar Phase I wonder if we are both ready for it. Right now, he is buried in books 4-5 hours a day of his own choosing. In fact, I struggle with pulling him into the 4 R's (Religion, Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) that are "pseudo required" here. In fact, because of how much study they do require, I feel like my "Mom School" has to step it up a notch this year. I want writing to become second nature to my kids, not a dreaded task. But how does that process happen? The answer is practice. In order to write easily, one must practice...practice printing or writing so that forming the characters is not interfering with expressing oneself, practice spelling so that words are easily constructed rather than stopping ones train of thought and practice grammar so the sentences flow off the pen rather than slowing one down as they wonder whether they should use plural or possessive...

What are you willing to spend 10,000 hours on to become an expert? Reading the classics seems like a very worthy endeavor.

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