Publish at February 12 2019 Updated March 30 2022

The basis of the teaching principle: self-regulation.

When you learn quickly, you evaluate yourself quickly

Not in 10,000 hours

Malcolm Gladwell’s very popular theory, which proposes the idea that one can become an expert in a field in 10,000 hours of practice, may seem a bit daunting. 10,000 hours is 40 hours a week for 5 years or 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 13 years…  It doesn&t require a hell of a lot of discipline, a continuous passion and almost ideal material conditions to get there.

What this theory says is that the 10,000 hours apply for talented people, in precise and very competitive contexts and at an extreme level of performance.When it comes to learning a language, playing music, cooking or carpentry, experience shows that you don't need 10,000 hours, obviously.

Josh Kaufman, coach and author of «The Personal MBA» tells us that with just a little practice, you become dè very good. He talks about 20 hours of quality practice, about 45 minutes a day for a month.

Quality practice

It is not about sitting for 20 hours listening to lectures or reading books. It’s about practicing, applying and relating what you’re learning, going gradually and systematically.

We start out incompetent and we know it.If we think we know everything or, on the contrary, we are convinced that we are an atavistic loser (by birth, habitual), a preliminary step is necessary: that of changing one's disposition and recognizing that there may be something to learn and that one can do it.

Here is the 4-point method he proposes:

  • build competence in parts;
  • learn enough to be able to self-correct, to recognize improvements and mistakes;
  • remove barriers and distractions à practice, which includes the internet;
  • practice at least 20 hours;

The main barrier to learning new skills is not intellectual, it is emotional. No one likes to feel stupid and when you start learning something new, you feel that way. By practicing, you can get past that state. And it shows it;

You might wonder why you can't apply this approach to school.

Self-regulation: changing the philosophy of teaching

The school offers a relaxed environment, time, and a relative absence of distractions. The only thing missing, according to this model, is the methodological goal of providing learners with the knowledge and criteria for self-correction and self-reinforcement. We rely more on external feedback, either from the teacher or from the evaluation system. But a new context has developed: that of personalization, which makes self-regulation impossible.

By making the empowerment of the student, capable of making his or her own assessment, a priority of the teaching action, we free ourselves from the control of the teacher;This means that the teacher is practically freed from teaching itself to supervise learning and to take care of what is going on in each student. The focus shifts from teaching to learning as the learner directs his or her own efforts toward his or her needs, quickly and without delay.

What the teacher does helps the process, but what the learner does is the main determinant of his or her learning, and the more active he or she is and able to measure progress, the better and faster he or she will progress.



The first 20 hours -- How to learn anything | Josh Kaufman

Outliers (The 10,000 Hour Law) Malcolm Gladwell

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