The Five Stages of Learning

After a decade of teaching writing, I thought it time to schematize the process I’ve consistently observed. Inspired by the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief, here are my five stages of learning:

Denial — the student imagines her skill level is sufficient

Recognition — the student acknowledges a lack of knowledge or skill

Discontent — initially upset at others their expectations or demands, the student turns the discontent on herself for failing to meet those demands

Acceptance — the student resolves to improve, self-critiques, then begins taking the necessary steps

Progress — once in the process or habit of thinking and working, the student steadily improves