The Four Stages of Learning provides a model for learning. It suggests that individuals are initially unaware of how little they know, or unconscious of their incompetence. As they recognize their incompetence, they consciously acquire a skill, then consciously use it. Eventually, the skill can be utilized without it being consciously thought through: the individual is said to have then acquired unconscious competence.
A reminder that we often don’t know what we don’t know1. You have to first figure out you don’t know something, then consciously decide to begin to know it.
It’s how we learn and grow.
- The last part of the “things you know you know, things you know you don’t know, and things you don’t know you don’t know” triumvirate. Or, as popularized by Donald Rumsfeld, “known knowns”, “known unknowns”, and “unknown unknowns”. ↩