Stages of Competence Development

This category includes articles that can help you understand the Stages of Competence Development better. 

The purpose of any algorithm is to help one reach the mastery level when it is no longer necessary. This is when we can speak about competence being developed. The learner has acquired what has been learned and is ready for a new competence cycle with new problems.

By the end of Stage 4, the learner is able to do the following:

  • easily make a choice in any situation defined at Stage 0
  • juxtapose and compare different algorithms for dealing with a problem and define their strong and weak aspects
  • illustrate any aspect of the algorithm

It should also be noted that the learner is disposed to keep working on improving his/her algorithm.

Learning to test one's hypothesis and being able to find faults with is a central idea behind Stage 3. In the process of testing and validating one's hypotheses, the learner is moving towards building an algorithm.

By the end of Stage 3, the learner is able to do the following:

  • demonstrate the ability to follow his/her hypothesis
  • note down mistakes when following the hypothesis
  • define causes of mistakes
  • find examples when a hypothesis "fails"
  • build an algorithm based on the new data

It is important to add that the learner should be disposed to treat own hypotheses as models that have drawbacks and applicability limits.

What we are dealing with seems to be a trivial question. And yet this is the one learners often fail to answer, especially if one asks for more than a mere repetition of the title of a textbook topic. It often takes a very long time to understand the meaning behind such "obvious" things as a sentence in the language classroom or a triangle in a maths lesson. The idea of Stage 1 is to give the learner a chance to "play" with whatever s/he is dealing with. Being able to describe the elements under study via their parameters and values, or building their passports, is the main outcome of this stage.

By the end of working at Stage 1, the learner can do the following:

  • find and recognise the elements s/he is dealing with
  • distonguish between the elements or their forms
  • define the mearning of the elements
  • do all of the above in the context of his/her learning objectives and demand this from all the participants involved in the process


The situation of choice is one of the most difficult moments to the learner. Should I out a comma here? Is it a good idea to give as many examples as I can? Which of the formulae is the most suitable one? Instead of a mere guess, the learner masters the skills of developing a hypothesis.

By the end of working with Stage 2, the learner can do the following:

  • define parameters for the description of elements and find the essential ones
  • define values of parameters for distinguishing between the elements
  • build hypotheses for distinguishing between the elements that are based on the interaction between various values of the defined essential parameters

In the language of a teacher, Stage 0 is about diagnostics. The idea is very simple: test what you are going to teach.

Starting with a series of diagnostic tasks, helps one understand the need for further learning. In other words, the learner must face a problem. Accepting a learning problem is the main outcome of this stage. 

By the end of working at Stage 0, the learner can do the following:

  • give examples of own mistakes
  • explain why a mistake is "dangerous" in the context of real problems one deals with
  • define learning objectives for further work
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