Practice makes perfect: David Brooks accepts logic of progressive reform


New York Times

(NYT) columnist David Brooks may not seem the most likely advocate for a major expansion of federal job training and education programs. But, intentional or not, that's essentially what the conservative pundit was doing last week with a column about the new science of success.

As Brooks pointed out, recent research by K. Anders Ericsson and the late Benjamin Bloom, among others, has deepened our knowledge of what factors predict proficiency, excellence, even genius. The work of the pair is summarized in two books, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle and Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, both of which received major shout-outs from Brooks. The gist of the research (and Brooks's column)? Genetics, including IQ and talent, are important determinants of success, but no more so than lots and lots of practice. Plain and simple, top performers spend many more hours rigorously learning and honing their craft.