On the Importance of Progressions to learning (Meta-cognition)

kick chess piece standing

The importance of progressions to learning is a critical topic of discussion amongst educators of any discipline. More importantly to this project, I continue to find the application of proper philosophical fundamentals conducive to progress and happiness.

The words I put here come from a different project, and they are a testament to the value of critical thinking – they show how it can make everything better.

On the Importance of Progressions to learning
Planning and Organisation

Now, I want to reiterate that this isn’t an exhaustive description of the importance of progressions in learning but a preamble of more in-depth material I promise to offer.

In non-physical specialisations, proper knowledge of primary material ensures the success of more advanced learning. In physical disciplines, progressions also ensure appropriate skill development, and more importantly, the athlete’s safety.

For example, in a math classroom, it would be unwise of the teacher to expect students to perform multiplication operations before mastering addition. And while they could memorise timetables to give the illusion of knowing how multiplication works, they would lack the knowledge required for more advanced mathematics.

The same logic applies in the gym, especially in locomotion and inversions. Some athletes can perform complex skills without meeting logical prerequisites, but with limited understanding of them.

Athletes with vague awareness of the mechanics of an acrobatic skill run an increased risk of “getting lost”, losing the skill (forgetting how to do it), and, at the worst of times, injuring themselves in the process.

And this is the abstraction that coaches and educators need to entertain to ensure their pupils learn safely and adequately. Yes, it seems stereotypical, but as critical as the topic may be amongst teaching circles, the idea is lost almost everywhere else.

You can observe this lack of logical progressions in people who, without any background in science or scientific research, pretend to grasp complex concepts well. They don’t and their failures are evident.


In epistemology (which is a fancy word we use in philosophy for the study of knowledge acquisition), we worry about three types of knowledge that are part of meta-cognition.

First, Declarative knowledge or Content Knowledge, or understanding your own capabilities and self-evaluation of what you know. This state is when you say or declare that you know something but do not necessarily know how to explain what we know.

Second, Procedural knowledge or Task knowledge is when you can perceive the mechanics of a task better, as its difficulty and consequences. You can see and explain more dimensions of what you do in this state but cannot still manipulate it.

And third, Conditional knowledge or Strategic knowledge is when you can set up strategies or methods to acquire new skills. In this state, we can identify conditions conducive or restrictive to learning. Here is where you begin to manipulate the abstract parts of learning.

On the Importance of Progressions to learning

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I submit that proper teaching should take students through these states. The simple act of understanding the different types of knowledge can help people adapt to fit an their needs in various stages of development and learning.

Understand, that like an athlete can injure themselves physically, you run the risk of intellectual and moral injury when you attempt to tackle complex science without observing logical progressions.

Thank you for reading. You can find the other project’s post here: https://invertcity.blog/2022/01/07/on-the-importance-of-progressions-preamble/

— The Devil Unbound

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