What makes someone an expert?

The implied purpose of many learning experiences is to move an individual from a state of little proficiency in a skill to one of competence. But what makes someone competent? Comparing expert thinking with novice thinking provides valuable insights into how to assist novices in developing expert-like thinking and behaviors.

Researchers have investigated the differences between experts and novices in a variety of fields and from this research, we have learned that expertise is more than an accumulation of knowledge or experience

A Network of Knowledge

Cognitive psychologists theorize that experts have a strong network of knowledge. Through study and experience, experts build connections between concepts, principles and practical knowledge. Rather than a random set of unrelated and isolated facts, expert knowledge is an interrelated network of “knowing what” and “knowing how.

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