Dreyfus Model divides students by skill level into 5 stages:
- Novices start with an instructor who splits a task into context free actions and rules. Beginners can perform the actions and follow the rules to solve the given task.
- Advanced Beginners. When the novices cope with a real context, they start to understand important aspects of the domain and match this context to the rules they was given by instructor.
- Competence students become overloaded by amount of rules and details. They start to relay on sense of what's important in particular case. With an instructor the start to figure out priorities, prepare plan, and ignore everything not related to the plan.
- Proficiency students become emotionally involved in a problem. On this stage it's hard to go back and learn missed rules. Students also understand anxiety of choice, start to decide based on a situation and grow up by positive and negative experience. Proficiency is developed only if experience is assimilated by atheoretical way.
- Experts. When proficiency students see both what to be done and how to do it, experts only see what should be achieved by their giant repertoire in situation discrimination. Experts decomposes situation into subclasses and know desired action.
Patricia Benner has studied nurses at each stage of skill acquisition. She finds that, unless the trainee stays emotionally involved and accepts the joy of a job well done, as well as the remorse of mistakes, he or she will not develop further and will eventually burn out trying to keep track of all the features and aspects, rules and maxims that modern medicine requires. In the cases of nurses at least, resistance to involvement and risk leads to stagnation and, ultimately, to boredom and regression (Benner, 1984).