Musings on Teaching…
Aug 25

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I just attended an inspirational video conference by Ewan McIntosh.

Honestly, it was one of those things that left me with very few words, but with a mind absolutely a-buzz with ideas.

Ewan talked about Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule, mentioned in his book The Outliers, this rule claims that to succeed in a given field you need to spend 10,000 hours working on it. Coincidentally, that’s also about how long students have spent in school by the end of year 9.

But, we can still do pretty amazing things given a relatively small amount of time.

To get to that point of being an “expert” Ewan set us some homework.
This is to participate in the 100 hours project.  Pick a topic that you are passionate about and dedicate 1 hour per day for 3 months to learning about it. By the end of 3 months, hey presto! you will have spent approximately 100 hours on your project.  Ewan also challenged us to blog, tweet, facebook, or otherwise share our project so that others will keep us accountable. A lovely bonus of the project is that participants will have something else to talk about other than school :-)

My project is my blog and wiki.
Both of these projects are in their infancy, however I can see real benefits for my professional development, my learning, my students’ learning, and for my colleagues’ learning.  I know this project won’t give me anything interesting to talk about to non-teachers or non-techies,  but it is something I am passionate about, had started doing anyhow and just needed to devote more time to, and can see the purpose for.

So that’s my commitment to the 100 Hours Project.  What’s yours?

[Thanks to Dean Groom for pointing me in the right direction re: 10k hours]
[Thanks to David Adams (my brother :-) ) for helping me out with more hours related accuracy]

Okay, let’s hope no more revisions…
[Just found this at BERG , which seems to be Ewan's source material for this section of his presentation]

3 Responses to “100 Hours Project”

  1. Ewan McIntosh Says:

    I’ve just put up a post on the 100hrs ( which has more links to BERG and some other stuff that’s made me think this is an ideal fit for teachers. What I’m wondering, though, is whether we could develop new forms of “un”assessment around this for students, too. Give them a focus for all the amazing stuff they do outside school, as well as during the school day?

  2. Claire Adams Says:

    Hi Ewan,
    I’m sure we “could” develop something for students around this idea. But, I’m sure it will go in one of the “too hard”, “not my area”, or “not enough time” baskets.
    Currently South Australian students can get credit towards their SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education – the whole point of years 11 & 12) for doing things like volunteering, which is a similar kind of thing.
    So, I guess it wouldn’t be too much of a push to get something like this into our system. Unfortunately I can definitely forsee a lot of resistance towards the idea.

  3. Shane McDonald Says:


    What an awesome summary of the “100 hours project”! I hope you’ve been able to complete yours. I wonder what I could take on in that time…


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