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Old 05-21-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
Mario Tobias
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Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

I've read somewhere that in any endeavor, to achieve mastery, a person will undergo 4 levels or states in the learning process.

The levels are:
1) unconscious incompetence
2) conscious incompetence
3) conscious competence
4) unconscious competence

Mastery will be attained if you reach the 4th level. Each level would have a different set of important focus areas to work on. In the context of Aikido, what do you think are these focus areas for you to hurdle to the next level and how to achieve it?
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
danielajames
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

I like these 4 steps as they encourage/ admonish no matter the step in the training cycle. One might argue that step 4 leads to returning to step 1 in a continuous cycle and that the dedication to the process is mastery. George Leonards book on the topic is helpful wih this point of view.

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:18 PM   #3
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

I'm between level 1 and 2
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
Mark Freeman
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I've read somewhere that in any endeavor, to achieve mastery, a person will undergo 4 levels or states in the learning process.

The levels are:
1) unconscious incompetence
2) conscious incompetence
3) conscious competence
4) unconscious competence

Mastery will be attained if you reach the 4th level. Each level would have a different set of important focus areas to work on. In the context of Aikido, what do you think are these focus areas for you to hurdle to the next level and how to achieve it?
Hi Mario,

I beg to differ on the point that mastery will be attained if you reach the 4th level. I agree fully with the 4 steps of learning model, but all level 4 means is that you can do something without thinking, which doesn't equal mastery. Most of what we do we carry out at level 4 or thereabouts.

Mastery is attained through endless cycles through the model
until all of the principles of aikido (or any other skillset) are manifest at level 4.

1>2 happens every time you are shown something or you see/feel something you were unaware existed (you don't know that you don't know)
2>3 the stage between knowing that you can't do something at all or not very well, to the point where you can do it but it takes all your thought/concentration to do it. The focus here is repetition and constant directed correction. This is the teachers main responsibility, helping students through this stage.
3>4 this stage is achieved by the student relaxing and allowing the skill to become embodied/unconscious, this requires more repetition and is the responsibility of the student, a teachers can't do this for you, they can only point to the way.

I don't know about hurdling to the next level, I just see it as a constant cycle rather than a few steps to an end point.

I can't say that I have mastered anything yet, ....maybe one day, mastery = a hell of a lot of practice.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
jester
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
1) unconscious incompetence
2) conscious incompetence
3) conscious competence
4) unconscious competence

In the context of Aikido, what do you think are these focus areas for you to hurdle to the next level and how to achieve it?
1) Trying to remembering the names of things but not being able to do any of them yet.

2) Finally remembering the names of things but still not being able to do them yet.

3) Finally knowing the names of things but figuring out that when you know the technique you would have already learned the name.

4) You use it in real life without knowing it until it's over.

-
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
graham christian
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Good explanation of competence. No more, no less.

Regards.G.
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #7
abraxis
 
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The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Mario,

I beg to differ on the point that mastery will be attained if you reach the 4th level. I agree fully with the 4 steps of learning model, but all level 4 means is that you can do something without thinking, which doesn't equal mastery. Most of what we do we carry out at level 4 or thereabouts.

Mastery is attained through endless cycles through the model
until all of the principles of aikido (or any other skillset) are manifest at level 4.

1>2 happens every time you are shown something or you see/feel something you were unaware existed (you don't know that you don't know)
2>3 the stage between knowing that you can't do something at all or not very well, to the point where you can do it but it takes all your thought/concentration to do it. The focus here is repetition and constant directed correction. This is the teachers main responsibility, helping students through this stage.
3>4 this stage is achieved by the student relaxing and allowing the skill to become embodied/unconscious, this requires more repetition and is the responsibility of the student, a teachers can't do this for you, they can only point to the way.

I don't know about hurdling to the next level, I just see it as a constant cycle rather than a few steps to an end point.

I can't say that I have mastered anything yet, ....maybe one day, mastery = a hell of a lot of practice.

regards

Mark
ditto to all of what mark said,
different levels of mastery for different things at the same time,
lots and lots of practice all the time,
and then there's the 20 year throw which seems to cycle thru all the levels in an unpredictable way--
who your partner(s) is(are) plays a part too i think.

have a good practice,

rudy

Last edited by abraxis : 05-21-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
Mario Tobias
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post

I can't say that I have mastered anything yet, ....maybe one day, mastery = a hell of a lot of practice.

regards

Mark
What I also recently realized is that it's not just what and how many times you practice but how you practice. I'm at a stage where I need to be conscious of all the things important to me when performing a technique. A lot of times I keep forgetting this and just keep blindly repeating techniques (due to exhaustion or distraction or whatever) without being conscious.

Sometimes I leave the dojo thinking it's wasted practice because of this blind repetition. In some days, I feel invigorated because I'm more conscious that some parts of the technique are somewhat not working or needs improvement even though I dont know what I'm doing incorrectly.

I agree with all that you've said above. Even O'sensei or the shihans (like Endo sensei) have said that they're only beginning to realize the potential of Aikido, yet they've already "mastered" the art. To them, they must be thinking they're at level 1. I think this is the concept of shoshin. There is no monopoly of knowledge and there's always something new to learn. But how to attain this knowledge is the challenge.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
Lan Powers
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

perhaps an additional level?

Sensei and I were discussing this very thing recently.
His suggestion would include a fifth level
reflective competence, that is, Able to articulate how and why.

perhaps "outside of the vertical structure"of 1-4?

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:49 AM   #10
SeiserL
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

That's how I explain it.

I add that its a cycle in that during the third "stage" with one skill you are still in the first "stage" with another. When you hit the fourth "stage" of that skill you begin the second "stage" of the next developing skill.

IMHO, "mastery" is an ongoing ever-refining process, not a "stage" we stay in or get to keep.

Also agree, George Leonard's book on Mastery talks about reframing or redefining those learning plateaus in a much more useful way.

Sports/performance psychology is fill with good stuff.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reminding us.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:24 AM   #11
graham christian
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
That's how I explain it.

I add that its a cycle in that during the third "stage" with one skill you are still in the first "stage" with another. When you hit the fourth "stage" of that skill you begin the second "stage" of the next developing skill.

IMHO, "mastery" is an ongoing ever-refining process, not a "stage" we stay in or get to keep.

Also agree, George Leonard's book on Mastery talks about reframing or redefining those learning plateaus in a much more useful way.

Sports/performance psychology is fill with good stuff.

Thoughts?

Thanks for reminding us.
Lynn.
'Reframing or redefining those learning plateaus in a much more useful way' is what drew me to this. I agree. I have in fact developed my own framework for such which I use when helping anyone 'stuck' in the course of studying, no matter what it is they are studying.

Mine is an overall cycle made up of eleven separate plateaus, levels of understanding.

You have reminded me here that maybe I should do something with it rather than just use it, ie: share it more. Maybe I should write it down in some form. Thanks for the reminder.

G.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #12
Mark Freeman
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Mine is an overall cycle made up of eleven separate plateaus, levels of understanding.

.
Blimey Graham, how do you remember where you are! I have enough trouble remembering a list of 4

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #13
graham christian
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Blimey Graham, how do you remember where you are! I have enough trouble remembering a list of 4

regards

Mark
Ha, ha. By getting to a level where you don't need memory. Why weigh yourself down with all those memories?

Regards.G.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:43 AM   #14
Mark Freeman
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ha, ha. By getting to a level where you don't need memory. Why weigh yourself down with all those memories?

Regards.G.
So is that at level 8, 9, 10...? or have you forgotten?

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:55 AM   #15
graham christian
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
So is that at level 8, 9, 10...? or have you forgotten?
Love it. You're on good form today. From seven onwards. errr..... or is that eight?

Mmmm. it has it's side effects.

Regards.G.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:03 AM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Something I added a few years ago that I think is valid in the scale.

o Unconscious incompetence
o Conscious incompetence
o Unconscious competence
o Conscious competence
o Conscious expertise
o Subconscious creative expertise

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:18 PM   #17
Mark Peckett
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I've read somewhere that in any endeavor, to achieve mastery, a person will undergo 4 levels or states in the learning process.

The levels are:
1) unconscious incompetence
2) conscious incompetence
3) conscious competence
4) unconscious competence

Mastery will be attained if you reach the 4th level. Each level would have a different set of important focus areas to work on. In the context of Aikido, what do you think are these focus areas for you to hurdle to the next level and how to achieve it?
I think this quote has gone a little Zen. When I was lectured about this as a student it was shown in grid form with unconscious incompetence at the top left and conscious competence in the bottom right, so although it's looked on as levels or stages, we in fact move between all four areas without arriving at "Mastery."
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:25 AM   #18
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

In order to really discuss this there needs to be a working definition of what "mastery" is. I know some who have achieved mastery. It's easy to see... Itzhac Perlman, Pablo Casals, Eric Clapton, and Doc Watson for example. These are all musicians, of course, and it's pretty easy to recognize a master of music. They're not just good, really really good... they're great and have mastered their medium. Isao Okano, a master judoka, Nishoka Tsuneo, a master of Shinto Muso Ryu. These are true masters of forms of Japanese Bujutsu/Budo. Again, if you are familiar with the subject it's easy to recognize mastery.

A good reference is: "The Cambridge Handbook Of Expertise and Expert Performance." I'd like to see what laymen think "mastery" is. Anybody want to make up a definition?

This is a typical dictionary entry:
mastery |ˈmast(ə)rē|
noun
1 comprehensive knowledge or skill in a subject or accomplishment : she played with some mastery.
• the action or process of mastering a subject or accomplishment : a child's mastery of language.
2 control or superiority over someone or something : man's mastery over nature.
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French maistrie, from maistre ‘master.’

Somehow, this doesn't seem like enough if you've been around many people that have achieved mastery to me.

For me, trying to define it always ends in more poetry than scientific language.

Best Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:28 PM   #19
Keith Larman
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Well, with most non-trivial tasks there is a point at which the person completely internalizes things. I sometimes think the word "subconscious" or "unconscious" aren't really appropriate here. Preconscious in the old Freudian sense somewhat gets at this aspect, but with things involving physicality there is also a sort of "body" consciousness" which has to evolve as well. So yes, poetic analogies are probably a good place to go since we really don't have a vocabulary to express the idea well. Or at least I don't.

Suffice to say I think there is a component of complete internalization both physically and mentally that allows a sort of autonomic actions. "Intentional thinking" doesn't really come in to play any longer as it is simply too slow to deal with a rapidly changing environment. Modern discussion of flow states come to mind. So maybe mastery of these sorts of tasks has to do with having trained the body and mind sufficiently to allow an easy transition into a sort of pre-conscious flow state.

Or to use another analogy, when you first learn to drive a car you are aware of every little movement on the wheel, every pulse on the accelerator, etc. But eventually you "master" the task of driving in the sense of being able to proficiently drive somewhere without some sort of intentionality based focus. You just drive. Just do it. There is no try...

As an aside, I'm reminded of a description of Richard Feynman, the physicist, by Richard Gleick in book genius. I can't recall the exact quote, but paraphrased he said there are geniuses that are like all of us just a whole lot smarter. But Feynman was a genius of a different sort. He was like a magician; you can immediately see what he just did but you have no idea how he did it.

I think mastery is much the same...

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Old 05-24-2011, 10:30 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
As an aside, I'm reminded of a description of Richard Feynman, the physicist, by Richard Gleick in book genius. I can't recall the exact quote, but paraphrased he said there are geniuses that are like all of us just a whole lot smarter. But Feynman was a genius of a different sort. He was like a magician; you can immediately see what he just did but you have no idea how he did it.
In that case I'd say that Feynman (I have a lot of his stuff on my bookshelf, BTW) wouldn't have much in common with most martial arts. Not only would a goodly percentage of his students grasp exactly what he was doing after a couple of workshops (or just reading his books), but they'd also begin teaching what he was doing in master-courses very soon and bad-mouthing him to boot.

I liked Feynman's stuff and his thinking, so perhaps I'm over-reacting to the comparison.

Mike
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:27 PM   #21
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I liked Feynman's stuff and his thinking, so perhaps I'm over-reacting to the comparison.

Mike
Yes, you are.

I met him a number of times growing up -- I went to school with his kids and even had a long argument with him as a teenager about relativity theory not really realizing who he was. He was just the dad of some friends to me at that time. He was a very nice guy, very patient (with me, at least), and really fun to be around. He clearly knew a lot of good stuff -- we even talked for a while about lock picking as he found out I was intrigued by Houdini as a kid. He told me a few strategies for picking combination locks that I still remember.

Regardless, the point I was trying to make was that things like mastery of any non-trivial task involves something beyond simple book knowledge or "information". I was simply trying point out something I think has some corollaries and wasn't extending it any further than that.

No further.

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Old 05-25-2011, 01:54 AM   #22
Abasan
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

The 4 levels that I know of is:
1. Knowing
2. Understanding
3. Mastery
4. Being

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:31 AM   #23
graham christian
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
The 4 levels that I know of is:
1. Knowing
2. Understanding
3. Mastery
4. Being
This is more aligned to my way of thinking.

Matthew, I said I have eleven so in short here they are for anyone interested.

1. Readiness. (correct intention, purpose,desire, decision)
2. Knowledge. (absorbing data, studying a body of data)
3. Understanding. (aligning data to conceptualization)
4. Practice. (applying understanding in the real world to ability gained)
5. Competence. (continued application of ability)
6. Confidence.
7. Artistry.
8. Helping. (helping or teaching, improving others)
9. Mastery. (Knowing exists here, far different to knowledge)
10. New Creation.
11. Faith. (being)

This is my learning cycle creation so I can't refer to anyone else who said this or that. For me each level or state is an expansion of the previous one. Hope you like it.

G.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:20 AM   #24
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

I ran this question through my computer and it told me there are only 3 levels of learning.

1. 00000000000
2. 01010101010
3. 111111111111

-
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:58 PM   #25
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Re: Mastery: The Four States in the Learning Process

Quote:
Tim Jester wrote: View Post
I ran this question through my computer and it told me there are only 3 levels of learning.

1. 00000000000
2. 01010101010
3. 111111111111

-
I was told there was no level 0...until the Dragon Warrior arrived that is. I suppose the final level of learning is evidenced by the additional value placement of 2^11. Yes, that makes perfect sense, now that you mention it.
Although! I asked my 11-fingered friend, and he said your computer seems to be wrong. This should be correct, according to him:
1. 0
2. 568
3. 3093
I don't put much faith in what he has to say though! He says he's 1z years old, but he acts like he's only z years old.
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