Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Outliers & the 10,000 Hour Rule - Chapter 2

Haley Scholars Fall 2013 Reading Groups 

 Readers have found the ideas that Gladwell raises in chapter two of Outliers quiet fascinating. In particular, they have been drawn to Gladwell’s discussion of the “10,000 hour rule,” that is, the notion that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice for a person to gain a truly remarkable mastery of a given skill. In other words, people would have to work on perfecting their skills for approximately 20 hours a week over the course of 10 years in order to acquire and display exceptional degrees of expertise.

Gladwell cites the early careers of computer whizzes Bill Joy and Bill Gates and The Beatles as examples of people who had achieved success in large part because they had achieved their 10,000 hours of practice. It’s worth noting that those who gain those 10,000 hours of practice have unique resources and vital networks of support and opportunity.

What’s a useful or creative way that we could start thinking about the 10,000 hour rule or at least something comparable in terms of an extended commitment to a field of study or talent here at SIUE? Is something comparable (hundreds of hours as opposed to ten thousand) or even possible given the demands and perhaps distractions of a general college education?

A few answers from Haley Scholars
The 10,000 hour rule for something you want to excel in could be close to impossible now. With school work & other important aspects in your life , it would be hard to commit to just one thing. In free time it would be possible , but to get to that expertise level it could take longer than expected. --T.W.

It is possible to achieve these hours if the student is committed, but as college students, there are so many things you have to prioritize. --J.C.

The examples given in the book show that most of the people who mastered their subject in their twenties started very young. If Siue students started now, they wouldn't finish until their early thirties and most people would have graduated, gotten jobs and started raising children by then. This is why i don't think 10,000 hours is realistic for most people. --J.O.

I believe that the 10,000 Hour Rule is unrealistic for me personally as a college student. There are so many things in my life that I have to put my time into. Maybe once I have my career that will be the one thing that I focus on. --R.C.

I believe the 10,000 hour rule is plausible, but only for a select group of people. --A.F.


Anitra B. said...

I don't think that the 10,000 Hour Rule is possible for college students. One would have to practice their skill for about 3 hours a day to reach 20 hours per week that it takes for perfecting their skill. As a college student that would be hard to do because of all the other things they're focusing on right now including studying, working, and socializing.
One way we can start thinking about the 10,000 Hour Rule (or something comparable) here at SIUe would be to let student come in and do research in their field of study in their free time. This will allow students to get more hours in learning about the field they want to pursue a career in. This way those who take the time to put in the hours will benefit over the ones that didn't.
Anitra B.

Unknown said...

It would be unrealistic to introduce the 10,000 hour rule to SIUE. The reason I say that is because the people that they've calculated these hours from started as early as 8th grade.

I feel like the 10,000 hour rule can be applicable towards students that intend to go into a field that requires years of study (ie. med school, law school). By the time those students are ready to go into their profession, it's likely that they will have acquired 10,000 hours.

However, I do think it is unrealistic to expect 10,000 hours from undergraduate students. Especially, if the student has interests and responsibilities outside of their study.

Unknown said...

I personally believe that, if you believe it, then you can achieve it. With being a freshman in college, I am still trying to get into the swing of things such as time management and organization. However, if there is something that I am really passionate about, and I know it will benefit me in my future, I will not hesitate to make time for it.

“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking”

John Lubbock

Ashley Asberry said...

As much as I'd like to be an idealist and say that it is possible, I honestly can't say that. In order to live up to the 10,000 hour rule, important aspects of life would have to be sacrificed, especially in a college setting. Someone would need an extensive amount of passion and motivation to do so, which may be possible for the select few that are sure about their goals.

Celeste C. said...

A 100-1000 hours is not comparable to the 10,000 hour rule, but for a college student it can be accomplished. Since about 10 years is roughy how long it takes to reach 10,000 hours for greatness you must take in account the busy life of a college student. If we had more activities that related to our particular field of experience we could ideally reach 100-1000 hours.
Personally I would be able to reach atleast 5000 hours by time I graduate but the amount of hours depend on the person and their lifestyle. I am a very passionate person about my particular field and if you include volunteer work, working in your particular field, studying and researching your field then the hours will add up.
You must set realistic goals for yourself and stick to them. A select few on campus may be able to reach this rule but others may be satisfied with a lower number of hours it just depends on a lot of factors and what you consider greatness.

Andrea R. said...

The only way the 10,000 Hour Rule would work is if the student had no other engagements going on. Which may have been a lot more reasonable in the 1960's and 70's when time may have been more abundant but it wouldn't be as useful today.

The other thing to think about is that a lot of these people like Bill Gates and Joy had some extraordinary opportunity they were willing to take. Same with the Beatles. So it also has to do with the willingness to take the opportunities given.

In my opinion though, how well you do depends more on effort as opposed to the amount of time you put forth. Which is a factor but being motivated to get better at something has to also be there.

Anonymous said...

Whatever we plan on majoring in during college, we can now see that if we want to become successful, we must commit to reaching 10,000 hours. Is that possible in college, I think not because of all our other priorities. Most likely, the 10,000 hour rule will become more accomplish-able once we finish our bachelor's degree, maybe.
Stephen K.

Unknown said...

The 10,000 hour rule is achievable but current SIUE students would be well in their thirties by then. A 1,000 or 2,000 hour rule is plausible. However, our university has the resources necessary for any student to spend time on campus the way Bill Joy. I believe that if a student is willing to put in the work they can master their given field of study.

Antione Lane said...

I do not think the 10,000 rule would be realistic for SIUE students. Students have priorities other than studying. If a student could dedicate most of their time to their major and studies maybe could the 10,000 rule be obtainable.
Antione L.

Jermeia Avery said...

I believe the 10,000 hour rule is a little extreme. Here at SIUe we are encouraged to participate in at least one extra curricular to boost the sense of community, we are also suppose to dedicate 2 hours of study per credit hour. So with that in mind, after classes, studying, and working (if you have a job) there is only so much time left to dedicate to one specific skill. I believe that every person is different so their commitment should depend on that individual person.

Unknown said...

Initially, I was completely convinced that the 10,000 hour rule would be impossible for the average SIUe student. I thought that no student would have time to dedicate twenty hours a week to crafting one skill. But, then I started to count up how many hours go into being a SIUe college student. I found out that it is possible to fit in twenty hours for one skill, but it is very difficult.

There are 168 hours in a week. If a college student is enrolled in five 3 credit hour classes then they are expected to be in class for 15 hours a week. They are advised to study for twice that amount of time. This would leave us with 123 hours left in our week. Some students work part time which is typically 20 hours. I think that most college students get about 7 hours of sleep a night which would be another 49 hours. That leaves us at 54 hours. Walking to classes and back to the dorms takes roughly 30 minutes for slow walkers. If we walked back and forth 3 times a day each week that would be 10.5 hours. I’m not involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, but the ones I am in only take up 5 hours of my week. If a student eats for 20 minutes 3 times each day then that would take about 3 hours out of their week. I also take 40 minutes to get ready in the morning or “groom” myself so that would take about 5 hours out of my week. Now, we are down to 30.5 hours. Most college students take time to socialize, watch TV, go on the computer, or talk on the phone. If students limited themselves to about 90 minutes a day then that would be about 10.5 hours a week. Following a strict schedule like this would give students an extra 20 hours to perfect any skill of their choosing.

Unfortunately, this schedule is not realistic. No student wants to live their life on a strict schedule. Life ebbs and flows; things change. People are not made for following rigid guidelines day by day. It would be too hard to try to fit 20 hours into an already jam-packed schedule. It would be stressful and would cause more harm than good.

Brianna B said...

In the each field each student is required to do some many hours of shadowing, practicing, and etc in association with their intended field of study. I think that is already a way of implementing a less drastic 10000 hour rule. I think it would be nice if these hours were enforced along with a group that connects with the major as well as some kind of activity because this means that the student would be putting in however many hours and really getting practice so that by the time the student reaches the point where they begin there career they have the mandatory course practice, but also experience from their group and whatever career related activity all geared toward making them better at what they choose to do.

I absolutely think that something comparable to the 10000 hour rule is possible and should be implemented because then we will have so many people who are better prepared for the job field and the time management that being a working individual requires. I absolutely think something akin to the 10000 rule should be implemented at SIUe.