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Jan 31

4 Keys To A Successful Practice

“For practice to improve performance, four conditions must be met (Hunter, 204):

1) The learner must be sufficiently motivated to want to improve performance.

2) The learner must have all the knowledge necessary to understand the different ways that the new knowledge or skill can be applied.

3) The learner must understand how to apply the knowledge to deal with a particular situation.

4) The learner must be able to analyze the results of that application and know what needs to be changed to improve performance in the future.

Teachers help learners meet these conditions when they do the following:

1) Start by selecting the smallest amount of material that will have maximum meaning for the learner.

2) Model the application process step-by-step. Studies show that the brain also uses observation as a means for determining the spatial learning needed to master a motor skill.

3) Insist that the practice occur in their presence over a short period of time while the student is focused on the learning.

4) Watch the practice and provide the students with prompt and specific feedback on what variable needs to be altered to correct and enhance performance. Feedback seems to be particularly important during the learning of complex motor skills.” -From, “How The Brain Learns,” By: David A. Sousa

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