Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Practice Makes Perfect—But Only If You Practice beyond the Point of Perfection

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vol. 28 - 1

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Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of researchers from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology who seek to understand the mind. In this regular American Educator column, we consider findings from this field that are strong and clear enough to merit classroom application.

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It is difficult to overstate the value of practice. For a new skill to become automatic or for new knowledge to become long-lasting, sustained practice, beyond the point of mastery, is necessary. This column summarizes why practice is so important and reviews the different effects of intense short-term practice versus sustained, long-term practice.

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