Human learning is a process of acquiring knowledge. Our behavior, skills, values and ethics are acquired when we process information through our minds and learn. Human learning may occur as part of education, personal development or any other informal/formal training. Children learn while they play, experiment, and interact. However, the process of learning is a continuous process. We constantly learn, unlearn and relearn through our experiences. To express ideas, to inform people, to communicate, to create etc we need to learn.

Levels of Human Learning


It is said that there are four levels of learning. 

Unconscious Incompetence is a stage where we don’t know what we don’t know. This means that we are not even aware of certain things in this universe. We have no awareness of the existence of certain kind of knowledge. The individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize this.

The second level is conscious Incompetence. This means we know what we don’t know. There are certain things which exist and which we are aware of however, we consciously know for a fact that we don’t know it. Though the individual does not understand or know how to do something, he or she does recognize this. The making of mistakes can be integral to the learning process at this stage. Example: a person knows that he or she does not know how to drive.

The third level of learning is conscious competence. Here individuals are aware of the learning that has taken place. We know what we know. The individual understands or knows how to do something. Execution of the skill plays an important part in this learning process. It requires a lot of concentration. Example: An individual knows for a fact that he or she can cook and when they do that, they must perform the process with concentration.

The fourth level of the learning process is unconscious competence. This means that we don’t know what we know. Sometimes, we as individuals have had so much practice with a particular skill that it almost becomes our second nature. And this we can perform with utmost ease. As a result, the skill can be performed while doing other things as well. These skills may be taught to other individuals as well, depending upon how and when it was learned.

Apart from the process of human learning and the stages of human learning, spirituality and being conscious of your inner self is also learning in itself. Human beings must learn and be aware of their soul and must identify peace within themselves. This is a continuous learning process. Practicing meditation helps you to learn about your feelings, emotions, and other inner attributes. Even Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs talks about the last stage of need which is Self Actualization. According to him, one reaches that stage after all basic; safety and luxury needs are fulfilled. Human learning, above all, has to do with adaptive behavior. With time, humans need to learn, unlearn and relearn to become their perceived ideal self. However, realizing the inner self is the biggest learning for most humans.