10,000 Hour Rule

Grit and Perfection

Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, prescribes to the notion that success is not just about intellectual capacity. Success requires the individual to practice specific tasks for 10,000 hours, in order to gain mastery orientation of the task. In education, we still have a vast majority of students and teachers attempting to prescribe the “10,000 hour pratice rule” to an antiquated Education 1.0 model. In the Education 1.0 model, practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect, as articulated in Education 3.0. Not only does one need 10,000 hours on task, the quality and rigor of the task really matters. Quality learning outcomes are solely dependent upon the rigor of the instructional tasks teachers provide for the learners. Rigor is not a matter of learners doing more, rigor is clearly focused on learners owning and applying the learning to their real world problems.

The typical 180 day school year, will provide students with 6 hours per day of formal instruction and 1080 hours at the end of each school year. So, the 10,000 hour rule is attainable in 9.3 years of formal academic learning (the start of high school). In those 9.3 years students have to harvest the most rigorous learning possible. Based on the current US academic performance data, student learning is still stuck in Education 1.0 and demonstrate limited signs of moving forward. Enhancing the learning conditions and practices takes transformational leadership and a commitment to retraining educators and learners. Rebooting the education system requires a grit mindset, in the pursuit of perfection. 10,000 hours of perfect 3.0 practice is soley based on the individual’s perspective, perseverance and self-growth. Therefore, learners engaged in sustained rigorous learning tasks will more than likely demonstrate higher levels of mastery orientation in their learning outcomes.

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