We’re really glad to see Angela Duckworth and Character Lab promoting some of the concepts we care about most–goal-setting, practice, and feedback. It even sounds a bit like fluency to us.
Whereas repetition plus reward leads to automatic, effortless habits, repetition plus goals for improvement plus feedback generates a different benefit: ever-improving expertise. If you do your homework in the same place and at the same time, day after day, studying will become a habit. If you also look for ways to improve your efficiency, and monitor how your new techniques are or aren’t working, you’ll also get better at studying.
Deliberate practice is how you learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and even perform what to others seems like magic.
It seems like these essential underpinnings of learning are becoming more “mainstream” in the conversation about learning and education reform. Alas, it’ll take a long time for it to translate into actual classroom practices, because the keys for success are low student-teacher ratio and a true emphasis on the granular steps of learning; as in, if you miss one, the foundation is less solid. This is what Queens Paideia School has been talking about for ten years, and it’s what QPS founder Dr. Francis Mechner has been writing about and implementing in various settings for almost 50 years!