THE LEARNING PROGRESS – BECOMING A MASTER
There are several aspects and facets to the learning process. We all want to learn and specialize at something new, and we are ready to go miles ahead for improving our knowledge base. When we are starting with learning something new—we are always reluctant at the beginning but, as soon as we strengthen our grip at it—we become experts at it. However, the question is that how does one go from learning something new to mastering it all the way to the top?
The founder of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow, has devised four steps of learning,
which comprises of the following steps. Now, let’s have a closer look at these stages in detail:
1. Unconscious incompetence: You are not familiar with what you don’t know. In other terms, we are not completely aware of our incompetence; therefore, we might overestimate few of our abilities. For instance, if you are not vastly familiar with advanced mathematics then, you might start thinking that because you are good at basic mathematics, you would specialize in advanced mathematics too. However, when you
are asked to solve a question from advanced mathematics (calculus or trigonometry) then, you wouldn’t be able to solve it from your knowledge in basic mathematics. In this phase, you are required to practice continuously, so you could move to the next phase of learning.
2. Conscious Incompetence: You consciously aware that you do not know few things. Now, in this stage our minds are conspicuously aware of the learning phase, and here our minds are conditioned to make efforts to learn a new subject or topic. A person may not sound very much sure of its capabilities in this stage, and it might start to doubt or take a step back. However, if you are committed to learn then, you should make strong commitment to learning a new area of knowledge or information. It should be notable
that you might be overconfident in the first stage of learning—you may not be as confident in this stage until you stick to working on it.
3. Conscious Competence: you are required to learn something but, it requires you to pay complete concentration to learn it. In the stage of conscious competence, once you are committed to learning and practicing with devotion and positive attitude then, it would help you to overcome the learning barriers and learning curves to help you move on to the next stage. In this stage, you would be more confidence in your learning aptitudes but, it would also allow you to improve your learning, so you could master at the learning process.
4. Unconscious Competence: In this stage, you are expert at what you do, and you can use your expertise to teach your learning to your peers. Now that you have accomplished the first three stages of learning successfully—you will be promoted to the fourth and final stage of unconscious competence, where you would have finally excelled at what you starting learning at first. You will observe a noticeable difference in your behavior and attitude, and it would help you to become more practical towards a problem. For instance, you were not vastly familiar with calculus in the first stage of the learning process but, now with consistent practice and devotion—you can easily solve calculus questions without thinking too much.
Once you have graduated from all four stages of the learning process, you can apply your understanding to various areas of your mundane life that includes cooking, driving, parenting, and etc.