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David Kolb Experiential Learning Theory Cheryl DeGraw Walden University August 2010

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Presentation on theme: "David Kolb Experiential Learning Theory Cheryl DeGraw Walden University August 2010"— Presentation transcript:

1 David Kolb Experiential Learning Theory Cheryl DeGraw Walden University August 2010

2 Objectives Define Experiential Learning Theory Review theoretical backgrounds Discuss four processes of learning Explain four learning stages Discuss four learning styles Apply Experiential Learning theory in education Review similarities and critique of theory

3 Experiential Learning Theory “…learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38) Integrating new information into existing knowledge Involving the whole person Transacting between the person and the environment

4 Theoretical Backgrounds Dewey ▫Learning grounded in experience Lewin ▫Being active in learning Piaget ▫Developmental Stages - Resulting from interaction of the person and the environment

5 Six Propositions of Learning Learning is a process, not outcome Learning is relearning Learners move between reflection, action, thinking, feeling Learning is holistic Learning involves interactions with the environment and the learner Learning is constructivist – abstract and concrete

6 Four Processes of Learning Watching ▫Senses – perceiving information Thinking ▫Mind – reflecting how it impacts life Feeling ▫Emotions – fitting into learner’s experiences Doing ▫Muscle – performing new ways to act

7 Four Learning Stages Concrete Experience Reflective Observation Abstract Conceptualization Active Experimentation

8 Concrete Experience Doing or having an experience

9 Reflective Observation Reviewing or reflecting on the experience

10 Abstract Conceptualization Concluding or learning from the experience

11 Active Experimentation Planning or trying out what you have learned

12 Which learning stage do you prefer or learn more effectively from?

13 Four Learning Styles Accommodator Diverger Converger Assimilator

14 Accommodator Learns through concrete experience Transforms learning into abstract experimentation Leaders, risk takers, needs a mentor, strength in doing, likes examples Teaches students by encouragement, modeling

15 Diverger Learns through concrete experience Transforms learning by reflective observation Likes to brainstorm, solve problems, imaginative, emotional, people person Teaches through lectures and motivates students to learn

16 Converger Learns through abstract conceptualization Transforms information through active experimentation – by doing Prefers objects, dislikes group activities, likes questioning, problem-solver, unemotional Teaches by questioning and encouraging students

17 Assimilator Learn through abstract conceptualization Transform learning through reflective observation Likes reading, research, organizing, working alone, likes class calendar Teaches students by lecturing, traditional classroom

18 Which learning style are you? Accomodator Diverger Converger Assimilator

19 Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle Abstract Conceptualization Active Experimentation Reflective Observation Concrete Experience AccommodatorDiverger AssimilatorConverger

20 Similarities Use of environment/experiences for learning ▫Constructivist Learning Theory (Vygotsky) ▫Behaviorist’s Theory (Skinner) Learn through social interactions ▫Social Learning Theory (Bandura) Affective and cognitive dimensions of learning ▫Humanist Theory (Freud, Rogers)

21 Critique Cultural considerations are not included Little research support Stages of learning may be sequenced differently Does not apply in all types of learning situations Insufficient information on reflection Doesn’t explore nature of knowledge in depth  Smith, (2001).

22 Experiential Learning Theory ▫David Kolb video: “What is Experiential Learning?” ▫David Kolb power point presentation ▫David Kolb video: “What is Experiential Learning?”

23 References Hurst-Wajszczuk, K. (2010). Do they really get it? Using the Kolb LSI to reach every student. Journal of Singing, 66(4), Kolb, D. A. (1984). The process of experiential learning. In D. Kolb, Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development (pp ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc. Kolb, D. A. & Kolb, A.Y.(2005) Learning styles and learning spaces: enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(2), Lisko, S. A. & O’Dell, V. (2010). Integration of Theory and Practice: experiential learning theory and nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31(2), Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., Baumgartner, L.M. Learning in adulthood: a comprehensive guide (3 rd Ed.). San Francisco: CA. Jossey- Bass. Smith, M. K. (2001). David. A. Kolb on experiential learning. The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. Retrieved August 3, 2010 from


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