To learn a new item of knowledge, the student is taken through four stages:
1. Acquiring a physical significance for the item under study through a concrete or semi-concrete model. Working through the model, the student is guided to obtain the idea.
2. Acquiring an abstract significance for the item, through the use of numbers without physical representation.
3. Recalling facts and performing computational skills quickly and correctly, through meaningful practice.
4. Applying the freshly learned knowledge to situations that call for its use.
When the student leaves the last stage, mastery is secured, and the new item is integrated into the body of knowledge previously built.

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