Dreyfus Model

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Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition

Summary of Sorin Gherman on [ext] Novice-to-Expert

Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition[1]

  • Novice
    • Rules
  • Advanced Beginner
    • Rules + Situation
  • Competent
    • Rules + Selected Contexts + Accountable
  • Proficient
    • Accountable + Intuitive
    • Immediately sees what
  • Expert
    • Immediately sees how
  • Master
    • Develops style
    • Loves surprise

Learning Stages

Between Advanced Beginner and Competent

  • The number of potentially relevant details becomes overwhelming
  • Exhausting to manage with rules
  • Choose a perspective
  • Result depends on the perspective adopted by the learner/risk taking
  • Fright replaces exhaustion


  • - intuition replaces reasoned responses
  • - immediately sees the problem
  • - recognizes patterns


  • -immediately sees how to solve problem


  • styles, continuous learning


ShuHaRi is IMO the same concept, yet formulated long ago and comprising only 3 different levels of expertise. (tderz)

[1] source: several free links on the internet (tderz)

(SorinGherman) Very interesting, it's the first time I heard about "Shuhari" - looks like a much more concise and elegant description of the Dreyfus model. Either way, the interesting part of either of them in Go is how they describe that some things just cannot be explained and taught - which is hard to comprehend and accept for us non-Asians :-)


  • Tapir: It might be of interest, that Hubert L. Dreyfus made this model in course of his critique of so called Artificial Intelligence research. He is a philosopher studying to name some Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, his brother who co-authored some works with him was then actively involved in AI research. Most famous titles might be What computers can't do, What computers still can't do (some years later), Mind over machine. See [ext] his page at Berkeley University. Reading his works, is hereby strongly recommended :)

Dreyfus Model last edited by tapir on June 17, 2009 - 01:07
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