People Learn in 4 Stages

For some people who have aged and been out of school for a while, learning something new can be a bit intimidating. The idea of learning can start to crush even the most firm confidence. Psychological concepts like higher order thinking seem foreign to most people, even if they are receptive to learning. This concept is based on the idea that people learn in four stages:

-- Unconscious incompetence
In this stage of learning, you are not even aware of the fact that you do not know something. In fact you do not even know that this something even exists. In this stage, potential learners are on an "ignorance is bliss" autopilot.

-- Conscious Incompetence
This stage is where learning truly starts. You are aware that you do not know something and foster a natural desire and curiosity in order to know it. Experts believe most people abandon the learning cycle in this phase because they begin to feel ashamed of what they do not know.

-- Conscious Competence
Most people who survive the second stage of learning and make it to Conscious Competence are still having some challenges with the new thing they are learning. They are building skills and learning to apply them, but sometimes feel overwhelmed when they reach a challenge area.

-- Unconscious Competence
The fourth stage of learning kicks in when you have mastered learning so well that it is a natural part of who you are. Most of the time, you are unaware that you are even applying what you know because you have become so comfortable with it.


I like this post. I think this applies to all kinds of learning -academic as well as "Life lessons" Hopefully, no matter how long I am out of school I will continue to learn.