Step 5 B: The Making of an Expert

The Making of an Expert: This article discusses new research about how people become “experts.”

After reading the article, discuss how “experts” are made in the comments section below. Think about a specific “expert” and describe how you think he or she developed that particular skill or ability.

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890 thoughts on “Step 5 B: The Making of an Expert

  1. To be an expert it takes deliberate practice. I love the golf illustration. My son is a golf who finds time to “practice” his game, though I wouldn’t call him an expert, yet. Nor would he. He knows it takes focused, narrowed practice, one task at a time,perhaps on just one type of swing, before being considered an expert.

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  2. Hernesto Meza says:

    Developing an expert takes much time, practice and dedication. These individuals are motivated by the outcome they desire to attain. However, I do not believe any one is an expert at anything, I do believe that we are always in a state of development as experts. To suggest that someone is an expert would indicate that someone has learned all that their is to learn about a topic, and I don’t believe that is ever the case. Expertise is also relative to the topic and the time. A computer science expert from 50 years ago might not be an expert today. Therefore, I don’t believe anyone is ever an expert but on the constant path to mastering a topic.

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  3. D. Gonzalez says:

    As mentioned in the article, experts perform superior to their peers constantly. In other words, they never stop challenging themselves when it comes to the material they are extremely knowledgeable about. However, they aren’t automatically born experts, they are constantly learning, especially if anything new arises within that field of study.

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  4. Mich says:

    Based on the article, it expresses that “experts” must work very hard and have a great deal of patience to see their successes manifest. The article also touches on the idea of gender strengths in certain areas, such as the lack of strong spacial skills among girls. In other words experts are made not born. When people practice, use mentors and continually work on their craft, they have the potential to become better at what they do. Also, some areas of expertise are more difficult to measure than others. For example, sports figures are easier to see results due to statistics vs. leaders in general where this judgment is more subjective.

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  5. Mark Linley says:

    To quote the article: “Experts are always made, not born.” there is a cult of genius that the world has created where genius is thought to be something someone is born with, but as the article demonstrates experts in all fields must practice deliberately for many years before reaching their level of ability. One expert the article considers is the golfer Sam Snead, who people believed was simply a natural but who in fact spent many many grueling hours in deliberate practice and who says plain and clear: “Nobody worked harder at golf than I did.”

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  6. Harmony4681 says:

    When I think of an expert, I think of someone who has endured many challenges and has been able to walk away with a deeper perspective of those experiences. These experts are then able to help those who need guidance. The expert I’m thinking about is one who is open to new possibilities and is not afraid of failing. She shares what they have learned to be successful as well as those things that have not been successful. This expert is one who has struggled and sacrificed to become the expert they are now. They have gone through many trials and errors. The most important thing is that this expert developed her skill by taking risks and learning from her mistakes. An expert is a person who will admit there are no short cuts in achieving expertise. It all about the work you put in and being true to yourself.

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  7. Harmony072004 says:

    “Genuine experts not only practice deliberately but also think deliberately.” Like the saying goes “Practice makes perfect.” In order to become an expert, you have to demonstrate persistence and dedication. To become an expert you have to invest time and find a coach who can help you in improving your craft/skill. A coach can provide constructive feedback in order to improve. Mozart is a great example of an expert. He started at a very young age having his father as his mentor/teacher. Mozart was not born an expert, he became one as a result of his hard work and dedication to music.

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  8. Experts are made by deliberately practicing their skills, developed over time and with the help of a mentor coach as stated in the article, “New research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent or skill.” Hence, to become an expert it takes time, dedication, reflection, and effort. It is a deliberate process that involves intent to succeed.

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  9. Harmony mhc says:

    “Experts” are made through years of deliberate practice and coaching. “The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment.”

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  10. Harmony14 says:

    ” …the notion that genius is born, not made, is deeply ingrained.” This line stood out for me because this seems to be the thinking of many students. I am always trying to get the students to understand that experts are made. That they must practice. I found it interesting to learn that according to this article, it can take 10 years of deliberate and intentional practice to develop expertise. I’m not sure I personally know of any experts but I am reminded of the child of a colleague. He clocked in many, many hours of intentional, intense, and deliberate practice in his weak areas to become a very good ball player. The child sacrificed many hours and sweat on his way to becoming an exceptional ball player. He was provided with really good coaches that helped him refine his weak areas. He is on his way to becoming an expert through his hard work and dedication.

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  11. Harmony Figueroa says:

    To become an expert in any field there is much work and practice that needs to be put in. The less time one has to put into the development of their skills and less resources one has can make it very difficult to achieve expertise in any area. This can be applied to students in our classrooms. Many students lack exposure, early skill development time, and resources to achieve major strides in improve their learning skills.

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  12. Ron says:

    “So what does correlate with success? One thing emerges very clearly from Bloom’s work: All the superb performers he investigated had practiced intensively, had studied with devoted teachers, and had been supported enthusiastically by their families throughout their developing years.” The aisle is basically saying that expertise despite popular belief is not innate, but is rather developed over a long period of time with deliberate practice. I think of Jerry Rice, Hall of Fame NFL receiver, who was far superior to anyone else that position, but as he said that he knew the meaning of hard work.

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  13. msmartinez says:

    “New research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent or skill.” According to the article an expert is not born but rather is developed over time, at least a decade to achieve expertise. Another requirement includes engagement of deliberate practice, which entails practice that focuses on tasks beyond one’s level of competence and comfort zone. Lastly, a mentor coach is needed to guide you through deliberate practice, as well as help you how to coach yourself. An expert will never stop learning if he/she wants to remain at the peek of performance.

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  14. marqueztheresa says:

    Reading this, I’m reminded of Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Outliers. While he sometimes glibly talks about opportunities individuals had, the successes he writes about ultimately resulted from deliberate practice (The Beatles), nobody having done it alone (Mozart), and some luck (young hockey players born in specific months doing better than their same age peers). When we learn about the successes or witness the successes of different individuals, chess players, athletes, etc. we are caught up in the whirlwind of their achievements and only later, years perhaps, do we learn about their journey to that point, which generally includes those stated here in this article: – struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment, No shortcuts, will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, engagement in deliberate practice, a well-informed coach.

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  15. armando sanchez says:

    “The development of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifice, and honest, often painful self-assessment.” I simply had to pull out this quote because on its clarity of what an expert is. It takes time, dedication, and heart to be an expert at something. One simply is not great, they aspire for it and many times without even knowing it. I know it may not be a traditional example, but the WHITE rapper Eminem is a prime example of such. I emphasized white because rap/hip hop has been predominantly African-American. However, Eminem studied the culture, the history, the verses from rappers before him, he studied the craft and being white made it even harder for him. Yet, that didn’t stop him. Today, he is well respected by all the hip hop and rap community, not only because of his skills, but also because of his grit and how he embodies what hip hop means.

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  16. Catherine says:

    It takes time to become an expert in any field. Your ability to attain expert performance is clearly constrained if you have fewer opportunities to engage in deliberate practice. I’m thinking about how this applies to a classroom. We need our students to become “experts” in their fields (third grade, for example). Athletes need to start early and have to practice to improve their skills. Athletes reflect on what they need to do to improve their game, and need time to practice those skills.

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  17. Rachel says:

    “Experts” are created by practice, enthusiastically positive about reaching a goal and or skills, and studying of the craft/ or skill. The quality of time and effort is what makes an expert. This is important because quality of work is what makes the difference between an expert and someone who is not an expert. I agree with this article that experts are created based on passion (positive attitude to reach a goal), the amount of practice that goes into the learning of a skills and the study to learn through experiences and self reflection of error.

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  18. Mr. Salinas says:

    “New research show that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching not of any innate talent or skill.” It reminds me of professional athletes that might learn quickly but they continue to work hard in what they do to be the best for their team. Same as teaching in which teachers are always learning about themselves and students to make the appropriate adjustments to address all students. In the article, it states that a person need to perform a “deliberate practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort.” I remember my master teacher being a person that constantly reflected and recycle his lessons to help students reach certain goals he had established for the lesson.

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  19. Lin says:

    “Current research has revealed many other fields where there is no scientific evidence that supposed
    expertise leads to superior performance” Interestingly to say experts are not made one day or a week. Even experts need time to practice their skills , then they become experts.

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