Thoughts on Delibrate Practice

Hey everyone

Been lurking for some time, posting for the 1st time.

The reason I liked the blog (and subscribed to the pro version) was: It was the first time someone criticised the holy grail of “delibrate practice”. Many people have heard of the concept, but they just repeat it mindlessly Oh , you just need delibrate practice , like just practicing anything mindlessly is “delibrate practice”

To give an example, and what set me off. Sometime ago, I was on a fiction writers course-- fairly expensive one. And I asked teh teacher: Can we apply delibrate practice to fiction writing, seeing as there are no standards on what good writing is, and no clear steps to become a good fiction writer?

The teacher tore into me, saying of course there is a way to do delibrate practice in writing, and the correct way Was the way he was teaching. And his 4 step formula was the method to do delibrate practice.

The problem of course was this teacher spent a lot of their time picking fights with other teachers on how to write. And I was like: How can there be a common standard on how to become a good writer, when most writers (and readers) can’t even agree what good writing is? (Again, Im sticking to fiction for now)

Anyway, when I read the Tacit knowledge series, I realised writing is learnt better by tacit methods than by trying to find a formula.

Even with this teacher, who I am no longer with – I realised I learned more by watching him write (video sessions) and talking about it, rather than what he was officially teaching. And a lot of other writers told me the same thing-- an apprentice like training method worked best for most people.

I am a programmer by day, and again, learnt more by working with experienced programmers than trying to solve tricky puzzles (which is how many websites try to teach you).

Again, hope the tacit model of learning gets more respect.


Welcome to the membership, @shantnu!

I hear you re: deliberate practice, and I actually do want to dig deeper into the Naturalistic Decision Making literature, just to see what else they have to offer. For what it’s worth, the NDM podcast is a fantastic source of tacit knowledge-style pedagogical techniques — if you’re a podcast type of person, that is. :slight_smile:

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