Step 4: Deliberate Practice

As described in prior sections, students’ motivational journeys begin with regular attendance, as they start to find rewards, success and social support in school. This gives them the confidence and the impulse to engage with academic work and they show progress on fundamental math and reading skills.

The culmination of this journey is self-directed learning through Deliberate Practice. In this stage, children identify the areas where they have to improve, set their own goals, and practice towards these goals in a focused way. Students start to acquire grade-level skills, English skills, critical thinking ability, etc.

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Sikshana is developing grade-specific digital and physical programs in the form of Learning Trees, practice materials, multimedia, projects, etc. to enable Deliberate Practice. These will help students identify the areas where they need help (i.e. their “Hard Spots”), and to help them specifically practice these Hard Spots to achieve breakthroughs. We were able to see exactly this behaviour in a pilot of tablet-enabled learning, conducted in 9 schools of Ramangara taluk:

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“One of the students in my class was lagging behind in maths. Soon after the introduction of the [Dell tablets], he not only looks forward to using the tablet, but also practices his maths.”

– Shobha Rani, Teacher, G.H.PS. Mayaganahalli

In this case, the students identified spoken English as an area where they wanted to improve, and regularly practiced speaking using the English app loaded on the tablets. The same tablet also included other educational and entertainment content but the students chose to focus on the English app to make progress in acquiring a desired skill. This is the state of Deliberate Practice that we are working towards.