The Six Stages Of Learning: The Natural Human Learning Process

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Learning has the power to transform all of us. We have the opportunity to shape and

mold our minds into learning whatever we desire. It wasn’t until my first semester of college that

I learned what the six stages of learning are and how our emotions affect our learning. Emotion

is the on and off switch for learning. It’s important for us to understand this process and how we

learn biologically. Understanding how we learn can be the key to reaching our full potential and

being successful no matter what we do in life.

The Natural Human Learning Process was founded by Rita Smilkstein. According to

Smilkstein’s theory, we all go through six stages of learning. The first stage is motivation.

Motivation is the force or influence
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The second stage is called beginning practice. This is when we start practicing

for the first time. During the second stage is all we have right now is basic knowledge. We have

this drive to improve so we practice constantly despite consistently making mistakes. In this

stage we learn from our mistakes so we can further improve and achieve a level of success. Stage

three is called advanced practice. Now learning becomes enjoyable because our skills have

increased. Practicing is still taking place. In a result of positive feedback and encouragement

from others, we have reached a whole new level of confidence. The fourth stage is skillfulness.

Now we are beginning to become more comfortable and creative. We are exceptionally improving. Our confidence once again increases due to positive reinforcement. Stage five is

refinement. Here is when the skill becomes second nature. It becomes a habit or a part of who we

are. We are able to teach others and gain our own independence. Lastly, the sixth stage is

mastery. This is when we have skills and comprehensive knowledge on the subject. We can

teach it, go to higher levels, give up, or continue to practice. There is always room
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Even though I have

mastered this specific cupcake recipe, I am still learning how to make all different kinds of


Learning is a biological process. There are these specialized cells called

neurons in the brain. Neurons are also known as brain cells. The primary function of a neuron is to communicate

information to other cells in electrical and chemical form. It’s important for everyone to know how

neurons grow and develop. The main components of a neuron are the dendrites, the axon, the

myelin sheath, the axon terminals, and the soma. The model of a neuron is very similar to the

structure of a tree. Starting from the top, there are the dendrites. These are short fibers that

extend from the soma. The job of a dendrite is to receive information from other sensory

receptors and neurons. Dendrites often resemble the branches and twigs of a tree. Continuing

down there is the soma, also known as the cell body. The soma provides energy and processes

nutrients for the neuron. This can compare to the seed or heart of a tree. Next there is the

axon. The axon carries information to other neurons, muscles, and glands. This part of

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