The 10,000-hour rule applied to improving your teaching (Teaching Tip)

In his popular book Outliers , Malcom Gladwell wrote about the average number of hours one needs to become an expert in their field. The 10,000-hour rule of “achievement [equals] talent plus preparation” has entered the popular lexicon as the key to success in a field. While there are certain arenas in which you can become an expert without putting in 10,000 hours (darts for example), Gladwell contends that cognitively complex activities take deliberate practice to master.

So, what does all of this have to do with teaching? How can you gain deliberate practice to foster the kind of teaching that promotes deep and intentional student leaning? Much of the faculty development literature states that the keys to becoming a better teacher are 1) desiring to teach better, 2) using effective strategies, 3) collecting data on teaching effectiveness and student learning, and 4) self-assessing through critical reflection identifying which aspects of teaching help promote the process of learning.

This upcoming summer and academic year, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has a number of programs to help you grow in your knowledge and application of effective teaching strategies and ways to collect data on teaching effectiveness and student learning. In this Teaching Tip you will find key information about the CELT Teaching and Learning Academy, CELT Teaching Partners Program, CELT SoTL Scholars Program, and CELT Course Design Institute. Each of these opportunities, both new and retooled from previous years, require an application process as they are in-depth experiences that require time and your dedication.

With a joy for teaching,

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

References:

  • Gladwell, M. (2013, August 21). Complexity and the ten-thousand-hour rule. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/complexity-and-the-ten-thousand-hour-rule
  • Ambrose, S. (2010). How learning works seven research-based principles for smart teaching / Susan A. Ambrose … [et al.]; foreword by Richard E. Mayer. (1st ed., Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Blumberg, P., & Weimer, M. (2013). Assessing and improving your teaching: Strategies and rubrics for faculty growth and student learning / Phyllis Blumberg; Maryellen Weimer, consulting editor. (First ed., Jossey-Bass higher and adult education series).

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: The 10,000-hour rule applied to improving your teaching (March 28, 2019 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for March 28, 2019 (PDF)