I'm working on a post on the in-process revision of the DSM and autism. In the course of doing that, I ran across a blog called Theoria com Praxi, written by G. Brett Miller (his previous blog was 29 Marbles).
Miller has a lot good to say, which I will get to in a minute.
Here I am at my daughter's competition. It maybe doesn't look hard: go canter around and jump over fairly small obstacles but there a lot of separate sub-elements just having to do with riding, steering, increasing or decreasing the rate of speed, increasing or decreasing the size of the horse's stride. Then there are the strategy elements.
So Miller's article on mastery really struck by this one: Theoria cum Praxi » You don’t get better at writing essays by writing more essays.
The problem is, as the title of this post hints at, that you can’t get better at something by just doing that something. The early part of Talent is Overrated is full of examples: Jerry Rice didn’t become the greatest football player ever by playing football games; Tiger Woods didn’t become the greatest golfer by simply playing endless rounds of golf; and Benjamin Franklin didn’t become the incredible writer that he was by writing essays. All of these people, and many more, became incredibly good at what they do (did) through deliberate practice.You don't get better at jumping by jumping. Mastery of the sub-elements is essential. And of course the implications for k-12 education are also there.