Tag Archives: learning

The Stages of Learning

This is a great letter that explains the stages of learning new skills. I think it’s pretty much dead on. There a lot of people out there in this country that have lived a fairly good life, and have specialized quite narrowly for whatever their work has required of them. Read this article, and think about the wide range of skills that our pioneer forefathers had to accumulate, and if not master, at least be competent in. Once you spend some time thinking about it, the idea of these people leaving the east coast for the midwest or the west coast with just whatever was in their wagons and their heads is dauntingly amazing.

With a new skill set (like self-sufficient living in this example) a person at first is unconsciously incompetent (stage #1). Here a person doesn’t even know what they don’t know. They certainly don’t understand the ramifications of not having mastery of the things they don’t know. Most people stop right here. They feel safe. In fact, it’s not until they go a bit further into consciously incompetent (stage #2) when they begin for the first time to understand some of the things at which they are incompetent; and begin to realize the impact of their incompetence on their desired outcome.

This is where most people stop with most skill sets. Why? Because moving on to greater levels of competency is time consuming and, most of all, it’s hard. Frustrating, too. And quite frankly, with the life style most people lead, we don’t have to learn a heck of a lot of skills. You can usually outsource the job to someone else (fix your car, clothes dryer, growing food, building shelter, etc.).

Toddler Learning Processes

This is over a week old now, but just now I finally found time to watch this 3 minutes of video on this post over at Baby Babble. If you have a toddler in the house, it’s pretty interesting. The question that researchers were trying to answer was this: do toddlers live only in the present, or do they plan for the future — anticipate events — like adults do? The answer actually has real consequences on how a parent interacts with their child. How you teach them, especially when regards to learning from their mistakes, is impacted. One of Amazon’s many blogs is on the case with this, linking to some research at the University of Colorado at Boulder:

Pretty much every parent has experienced–or in the case of new or soon to be parents, will experience–the frustration resulting from what appears to be their child not listening to them. Of course, while true that children sometimes do not listen to their parents, research recently released from University of Colorado at Boulder claims that there may be something else going on inside your child. In a nutshell that she/he may be “storing information away for later.”


Amazon’s entry has the embedded video, so I’m not going to bother. It’s pretty interesting. I’ll try to remember this with my own toddler.