Deliberate Practice

Practice is an ancient learning method. It is used to learn something new, refresh old learning, synchronize performance among people, prepare for an event, or improve knowledge, skills and performance. There are many different ways people practice and the different methods vary with respect to purpose, enjoyment, thinking, feedback, success and efficiency.

Deliberate practice is a type of practice that depends both on thinking and doing. It begins with thinking about a learner’s accomplishments and then determining goals for further growth. Goals with specific criteria for the attainment of success are established and written down. Practice needs to be scheduled and organized to focus on mastering the success criteria. Actively learning and using specific vocabulary to describe the performance is an important part of the practice because it guides the thinking and feedback that leads to achievement of the success criteria. Opportunities for mistakes and success in the practice session help the learner distinguish the key attributes needed for attainment of the success criteria. Practice of sub skills needs to be connected back to the larger purpose of the practice. Accurate information about the practice must be gathered and analyzed because thinking, feedback, discussion, and refinement of the learning goals drive the learning. An expert coach or teacher can have enormous influence on the rate of learning when they serve as a thinking partner and provoke the learner to reflect on the learning.

Assessment capable learners know how to get this kind of support informally through reading, writing, discussion and the use of learning strategies. The purpose of this blog is to explore what happens to my sketching skill set when I deliberately behave as an assessment capable learner. Each day I plan to deliberately practice sub skills related to my goal of telling stories through sketching by addressing the following four questions:

  • What is my specific learning goal for the day and what work will I do to learn it?
  • What did I actually do and what is the visual evidence for this?
  • What did I learn, how did I learn it and what else do I need to learn to accomplish my specific goal?
  • What else am I thinking that is relevant to my goal of communicating ideas by using images?

For more information and sources, a web search on any of the terms will produce an amazing amount of related reading and video.

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