Stages of Learning - Motor Control

Stages of Learning

The processes involved to take someone from an unskilled performer to skilled

Takes learner through distinct phases

Identification of stages is important when coaching/rehabilitating

1. Fitts and Posner's 3 stages of learning (67)

2. Bernstein stage theory (67)

3. Gentile's 2 stage model (71-00)

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Fitts and Posner's 3 stages of learning (1967)

Concept of heirarchical organisation - one phase gradually merges into another, little definitive transition between them

Congnitive stage:

Lots of cognitive activity, high attentional demands, lack synchronisation, lots of gross errors, cannot determine errors or correct them

Associative stage:

Refining movement strategy, more consistent, associates environtmental cues, smoother and more well timed, less gross errors, can develop error correction strategies

Autonomous stage:

Automatic, habitual, less distracted, low performance variability, consistent, confident, very few errors, 

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Bernstein's stage theory (67)

Likened to solving the problem of how to control all the degrees of freedom - the number has to be reduced in order to control movement 

Learning at a dynamic level

Stage 1 - Novice:

Freezing out degrees of freedom in order to simplify movement, or create coordinative structures to reduce number of DOF

Stage 2 - Advanced:

Learner reinstates some degrees of freedom to discover laws that govern their control, more perceptually tuned

Stage 3 - Expert:

Continues to release, reorganise and exploit DoF, more stable and greater fluidity of movement

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Gentile's 2 stage model (72-00)

Explores how nature of movement environment influences nature of information a learner must acquire

First stage - getting the idea of movement

Establishment of appropriate movement pattern

Development of ability to distinguish between important environmental cues and non

e.g regulatory = size of ball, surface, speed of ball

Explore movement possibilities through trial and error

Second stage - fixation/diversification

Closed skills (fixed environment) - fixation, refinement of movement pattern

Open skills (changing conditions) - diversification, adaption to conform to ever changing environment, ability to modify

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