The five stage model of adult learning

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jacob
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The five stage model of adult learning

Post by jacob »

http://www.ucdblogs.org/ucdblogs/wp-con ... sition.pdf

The Dreyfus scale is (yet) another model for learning stages. It's useful for understanding where people (including oneself) are on the spectrum of mastery.

(The ERE book has/describes a similar scale---most scales are similar---illustrated with list of six C's)

This is what I've seen as it pertains to [teaching] ERE.

Stage 1 (novice): I often fail to recognize that novices are not really capable of doing anything other than follow a plan which is a context-free set of steps that the novice can follow without having any skill. ERE as I understand it can't really be taught at this level much as calculus can't be taught without some knowledge of addition and multiplication. The 21 day makeover is written for novices. The ERE book is written at a much higher level. This is why all the negative reviews that aren't character assassinations complain about either the lack of reading comprehension (typically along with a demonstrated lack of "writing comprehension") or the book's lack of a plan to follow. Tough luck.

Stage 2 (advanced beginner): This is the advanced frugalite who knows 200 different ways to stretch a dollar. I don't need to give them tactics. They already know them all, but they're not sure which one applies when and where. They absolutely love lists! In terms of plans they're likely following some plan which they received from some expert. The main challenge with these guys is that they're often talking from the top of Mount Stupid. They know just enough to be dangerous to themselves and others if they get over-confident. Most of the holy wars about "this or that method can't possibly work" and "experts have proven that this plan is the best" happen here. Best avoided. Don't debate!

Stage 3 (competence): This is the "I'm trying to choose a plan" stage. Journals are helpful here since that's essentially a set of premade plans. Find someone similar and copy them. Also discuss these plans with others to gain confidence. A lot of bloggers also spend time here. A journal is really but a blog on a forum. The difference between this stage and the previous stage is that if things don't work out, the advanced beginner will blame others (hello hatchet job) whereas the competent person will blame themselves for having chosen to follow the wrong rules or plan. The supply of complainypants dry up at level 3. Level 1 and 2 are full of complainypants.

Stage 4 (proficiency): 4 is to 3 as 2 is to 1. Many different plans have been considered. Many examples and situations have been encountered. Most importantly, the plan/correct behavior has become obvious rather than a deliberate thought process. There's no longer an internal dialogue as to what the right plan should be by weighing pros and cons. This person intuitively knows that some spending is bad, that some food is bad, ... they aren't debating this with themselves. ERE-wise, at this stage people are no longer falling off the wagon. They are not accidentally "splurging". They don't have a WTF?!-category when looking over last month's spending. However, while many plans have been considered, they haven't been experienced. They're still not capable of making their own plans though due to lack of experience with multiple plans. The goal is known intuitively, the rules or tactics/steps are known intuitively, but connecting them doesn't yet work at the level of intuition.

Stage 5 (expertise): Tada! Going from the previous stage to this stage is what the ERE book was written for. Connecting tactics and goals. How to plan a plan or in other words strategy. The important difference between this stage and the previous 4 is that whereas stage 3 and 4 eliminated conscious deliberations on following specific rules, stage 5 eliminated conscious deliberations on picking specific plans. At stage 5 there are no rules and no plans. Those were just teaching tools. You no longer think about it. You just do it and you do it correctly. The mental load in stage 5 wrt the skill is the lowest of all stages.

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jennypenny
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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by jennypenny »

jacob wrote: The mental load in stage 5 wrt the skill is the lowest of all stages.
What do you mean by that?

jacob
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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by jacob »

I mean that there's no conscious effort whatsoever.

When given a bunch of ingredients, an expert cook would not need to think about what dish they will form (the final dish that obtain from these ingredients is obvious); nor would the cook need to think about how to combine them (the way it's usually written out in a recipe for lower stages to follow) because combining them would be natural, as would boiling times, how fine to chop things, how much flour to use, etc.

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C40
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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by C40 »

jacob wrote:I mean that there's no conscious effort whatsoever.
There are all kinds of examples of this:
- Driving a car (something very complex if you were to be doing all the math calculations or at least estimations related to the different speeds and directions of cars in traffic)
- Playing a game like chess, where a master can observe a board and understand the situation immediately without having to go through all the possible moves in his head one at a time.

But I think this kind of efficiency of thought fits into two different categories:
1 - Habits. There's a part of your brain that establishes routines - that you can then execute without having to make decisions, do calculations, etc. *
2 - Expertise. When you have experience (many reputations of a similar situation, plus many slight variations) of making decisions and also of thinking about those tactical decisions as part of a greater strategy, you eventually become able to make those decisions instantly and with very little or no intentional or perceived effort.

* I've been reading a book about this that is pretty good - "The Power of Habit"


Here's an example that I'm familiar with: A bicycle racer, who's able to ride along in a pack of a hundred riders, just inches from other riders on all sides while navigating corners at high speed. All of these racers can ride along, inches away from a injurious crash, with their hearts beating nearly three times per second. But what's going on in the heads of racers at different levels can be very, very different.

Here's what goes on in the head of an inexperienced racer:
"Ouch, I'm tired.. Try harder, go faster.. don't crash! Oh that was close! Wowwwww!!!" (They can't think about anything other than this). He hasn't established habits of how to ride safely in a pack. He has to think about it. It takes up most of his thoughts each time they go around a corner.

Here's what goes on in the head of an amateur racer with quite a bit of experience and skill in racing strategy:
how fresh am I? I'm feeling pretty good, like 80%. Enough to attack? Would It be better to wait for the sprint? How does my opponent look? Does he look tired? I saw his shoulders moving a little bit when he was pedaling hard to close the gap. Maybe he's tired. With the pace this fast he won't be able to recover much. My team mate looks pretty good. I wonder if I ask him to attack now, or to wait around and lead me out for the sprint? He's a better leadout man than my rival's. Let's do that. I'll go tell him in a couple laps..... I wonder if that cute girl I see each lap on corner 2 is looking at me, or some other guy near me. Maybe she digs me. I should try to stop at that corner after the race). They are able to think about all kinds of things, and quickly. But they are often doing a lot of thinking.

Here's what's going on in the head Here's what a Pro is thinking:
"I hope we have cake for desert tonight". (All the racing stuff is automatic. He doesn't even have to think about it. He's done this a thousand times and the decisions are either complete habits, or they are decisions he's made so many times and learned from them, that it takes nearly no conscious thought. He's in sort of a zen state)

Mar
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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by Mar »

jacob wrote: They don't have a WTF?!-category when looking over last month's spending.
This made me laugh so hard. This happened to me recently and I had a hard time believing the money I had spent. I am definitely at the novice stage of ERE. Just gotta learn more and not make the same mistakes.

Not sure how many people like your sense of humor Jacob, but I find it very entertaining.

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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by vexed87 »

It's sobering to apply this to various scenarios in one's own life, particularly when you are stage 2, high on mount stupid. Understanding this helps you progress much faster! I have learned to love those little kickbacks when you realise you are not yet competent, but on a journey to greater understanding.
Last edited by vexed87 on Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

RG1
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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by RG1 »

jacob wrote: When given a bunch of ingredients, an expert cook would not need to think about what dish they will form (the final dish that obtain from these ingredients is obvious); nor would the cook need to think about how to combine them (the way it's usually written out in a recipe for lower stages to follow) because combining them would be natural, as would boiling times, how fine to chop things, how much flour to use, etc.
Im not trying to nitpick, but this seems like the opposite of an expert (in cooking) to me. As an advanced beginner, a set of ingredients would immediately suggest a single recipe or two. But if you watch top chef or whatever, you can see how experts can take the same ingredients and go savory or sweet, stew or salad, slice or dice. There is no right answer, though there are wrong ones.

I don't know if I'm also in the advanced beginner stage, at least I grew up with a thousand frugal techniques but YMOYL provided a paradigm shift. Instead of looking for ways to get more stuff for less money, I saw the stuff itself as taking away life energy, looking at the life cycle of buying, maintaining, disposal. I like the complainypants point, that sort of explains why teenagers are so obnoxious, as well as giving a reason to ignore it/ let them grow out of it.

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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by walker »

C40 mentioned zen states, and the 5 stages remind me of the way Zen Buddhists describe working toward enlightenment -- for example in the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures. Zen practice is not big on strategy that I know of, but there's the same idea of something starting as painful discipline and then becoming second nature (or more accurately, returning the practitioner to their original/unconditioned nature).

I also like how the 5 stages result in just doing it rather than a concrete goal like "You saved a million dollars, now use it to buy a bunch of stuff." At the last of the Buddhist levels, the ox-herder goes back to the marketplace, ending where he began but now he's enlightened. "My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful." Much like ERE, it's a never-ending process that doesn't stop at achievement of a certain insight, personal goal, or net worth.

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Re: The five stage model of adult learning

Post by Stahlmann »

ok, I see :lol:

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