Joseph Lee

TES talks to… Anders Ericsson

He’s known as the man behind the ‘10,000-hour rule’ – the idea that anyone can become an expert at something simply by clocking up enough practice. However, as Joseph Lee discovers, this tantalising possibility is, in fact, a misrepresentation of a far more nuanced theory

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Professor Anders Ericsson has achieved the kind of success that academics dream about. But this has morphed into the kind they have nightmares about: his ideas have become so well-known that they are widely misunderstood. In Ericsson’s case, this is down to the writer Malcolm Gladwell seizing on Ericsson’s research for his book Outliers: the story of success in order to answer a question that occupies the mind of every teacher: what makes exceptionally successful people different?

Thanks to Gladwell and his use of Ericsson’s work, the memorable answer became known as the “10,000-hour rule” – ...

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