Assumption #1: People learn from immediate, here-and-now experience, as well as from concepts and books.
Assumption #2: People learn differently ; that is, according to their preferred learning styles.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MODEL The core of the model is a simple description of the learning cycle how experience is translated into concepts which, in turn, are used as guides in the choice of new experiences.
DESCRIPTION OF THE MODEL People are thought to learn through experience, and the process is conceived as a four-stage cycle :
A Four-Stage Cycle 1. Immediate or concrete experience, which is the basis for: 2. Observations and reflections 3. These observations and reflections are assimilated and distilled into a theory or concept—however informal—from which new implications for action can be drawn 4. These implications can be tested and serve as guides in creating new experiences
Four Different Abilities If they are to be effective, learners need four different abilities : Concrete Experience (CE), Reflective Observation (RO), Abstract Conceptualization (AC), & Active Experimentation (AE ).
An Effective Learner MUST be able to involve themselves fully, openly, and without bias in new experiences (CE), reflect on and observe these experiences from many perspectives (RO);
An Effective Learner MUST be able to create concepts that integrate their observations into logically sound theories (AC); and use these theories to make decisions and solve problems (AE).
An Effective Learner MUST be able to rely flexibly on these four learning modes in whatever combinations the situation requires. Having developed " skills " in each area, he or she can call on them when they are needed.
Flexibility Flexibility is the key to effective learning, and to high performance in any endeavor.
Questions This ideal is difficult to achieve. Can anyone become highly skilled in all these abilities, or are they necessarily in conflict? How can one be concrete and immediate, and still be theoretical?
Two Main Dimensions to the learning process Two main dimensions correspond to the two major different ways by which we learn: 1. how we perceive new information or experience, and 2. how we process what we perceive.
How We Perceive New Information— The Concrete- Abstract Dimension
Concrete Experience — the tangible, felt qualities of the world— as their favored means of perceiving, grasping, or taking hold of new information.
Concrete Experience They perceive through their senses, immerse themselves in concrete reality, and rely heavily on their intuition, rather than step back and think through elements of the situation analytically.
Abstract Conceptualization Others tend to grasp new information through symbolic representation or Abstract Conceptualization— thinking about, analyzing, or systematically planning, rather than using intuition or sensation as a guide.
Both are equally valuable One can think of this dimension as a continuum, with individual orientations falling at different places along it.
Both modes—the concrete and the abstract— are equally valuable; both have their strengths and weaknesses.
How We Process What We Perceive—The Active-Reflective Dimension The second essential element of learning is how we process or transform the information and experience we absorb, how we incorporate it.
The Active-Reflective Dimension In processing a new experience, some of us (if given a choice) would choose to jump right in and try our hand, while others would choose to carefully watch others who are involved in the experience and reflect what happens.
Active Experimentation The doers favor Active Experimentation,
Reflective Observation The watchers favor Reflective Observation.
Active-Reflective Continuum Like the concrete-abstract continuum, individual orientations fall at different places along the active-reflective continuum. Both modes, active and reflective, are valuable ; both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Choice Each dimension presents us with a choice. Since it is virtually impossible, for example, to drive a car (Concrete Experience) and analyze a driver's manual about the car's functioning (Abstract Conceptualization), we resolve the conflict by choosing.
Forced Choice? Because of our hereditary equipment, our particular past life experiences, and the demands of our present environment, we develop a preferred way of choosing.
Resolving the Conflict We resolve the conflict between concrete or abstract and between active or reflective in some patterned, characteristic ways.
Five identifiable sets of forces that shape our learning styles personality type educational specialization professional career choice current job role current task/problem
Four Types of the Learning Style Model People tend to make characteristic choices between the polar opposites of each dimension ( concrete-abstract and active-reflective ), and fall within one of the four types of the Learning Style Model
Four Types of the Learning Style Model The Converger The Diverger The Assimilator The Accommodator
GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT in EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING Besides providing a way to think about differences in styles of adaptation to the world, the Experiential Learning Model suggests how human growth and development are achieved.
People grow and develop People grow and develop in four main areas or dimensions of their lives: