Stages Of Learning
According to the conscious competence model there are 4 stages of learning:
- Stage 1 - Unconscious Incompetence
"I Don't Know that I Don't Know"
At this stage I am in a state of blissful ignorance. I have a complete lack of knowledge and skills in the subject in question. On top of this, I am unaware of my lack of skill, and my confidence will therefore exceed my abilities.
- Stage 2 – Conscious Incompetence
"I Know that I Don't Know"
At this stage I find that there are skills I need to learn, and it may come as a shock to find that there are others who are far more competent than I am.
As I realise this, my confidence drops, and I go through an uncomfortable period as I learn these new skills.
- Stage 3 – Conscious Competence
"I Know that I Know"
At this stage I acquire the new skills and knowledge. I put my learning into practice and I gain confidence in carrying out the tasks or jobs involved.
I am still concentrating on the performance of these activities, but as I gain more practice and experience, the exercising of these skills becomes increasingly automatic.
- Stage 4 – Unconscious Competence
"I Don't Know that I Know – I am functioning 'auto-pilot'"
At this stage my new skills are now habits, and I perform the task and exercise my skills without conscious effort – I am functioning “on-auto-pilot” and thus with ease. I am now at the peak of my confidence and ability.
The stages of learning represented in the conscious competence model are a popular and intuitive approach. The model is attributed to many different possible originators.
We are probably all familiar with the "10,000-Hour Rule", based on a study by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson postulates that great achievement (based on great competence) requires an enormous time, 10,000 hours to be precise.
The primary value of the model is that it helps us to realistically manage our own emotions and expectations during what is often a difficult, prolonged and challenging learning process.
Self Improvement Advice
Return from "Stages of Learning" to: Managing Personal Change