Deliberate Practice vs. Repetition

by Vince

This topic can apply to many fields. I will mention “quiet time” as seen in the Christian traditions and in today’s world of education.

Quiet Time is known as time each day a Christian spends intentionally with God. This may include Bible reading, prayer, reflective reading, writing, written or thought out reflections, and more. In education, much of our school days are made up of repetition. We repeat our times tables, look over and over our Spanish vocab, or try to memorize dates or formulas.

An alternative to some (I see it as a complimentary approach) is deliberate practice:

Deliberate practice requires careful reflection on what worked and what didn’t work. A budding concert pianist may practice a particularly troublesome passage listening for places where his fingers do not flow smoothly. A chess student may spend hours analyzing one move of a world-championship chess match trying to see what the grandmasters saw. This kind of practice demands time for reflection and intense concentration, so intense that it is difficult to sustain for longer than 3 hours per day.

This topic has been expounded on by others, but the general point is that basic subjects and foundations of knowledge are vital for one to creatively and reflectively learn. Without that base, we cannot reflect on our spiritual direction or cognitive processes in learning.

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