Revisiting the Six Stages of Skill Acquisition

In Teaching and Learning for Adult Skill Acquisition: Applying the Dreyfus & Dreyfus Model in Different Fields. Charlotte, NC, USA: pp. 3-28 (2021)
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Abstract

The acquisition of a new skill usually proceeds through five stages, from novice to expert, with a sixth stage of mastery available for highly motivated performers. In this chapter, we re-state the six stages of the Dreyfus Skill Model, paying new attention to the transitions and interrelations between them. While discussing the fifth stage, expertise, we unpack the claim that, “when things are proceeding normally, experts don’t solve problems and don’t make decisions; they do what normally works” (Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1988, pp. 30 – 31). This leads us to offer an account of the “perspectival deliberation” that arises for experts and masters and that is distinct from the calculative deliberation characteristic of the lower stages of skillfulness.

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B. Scot Rousse
University of California, Berkeley

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