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Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine www.medev.ac.uk Celebrating 25 years of Kolb’s learning cycle: An appreciative enquiry for 2009 Extracts from.

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Presentation on theme: "Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine www.medev.ac.uk Celebrating 25 years of Kolb’s learning cycle: An appreciative enquiry for 2009 Extracts from."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine Celebrating 25 years of Kolb’s learning cycle: An appreciative enquiry for 2009 Extracts from slide presentation by Reg Dennick, Professor in Medical Education at the University of Nottingham – reproduced with permission

2 “Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.” David Kolb Experiential Learning

3 Origins of the Kolb Cycle Importance of individual experience in learning How experience can be transformed into action Constructivist mechanism of learning: experience to abstraction Dewey LewinPiaget

4 Other influences on Kolb Vygotsky Jung Freire Experiential learning is a social process and is influenced by cultural tools. Psychological types and learning styles. Individuation. Experiential learning as liberating and leading to ‘critical consciousness’

5 Concrete Experience Abstract conceptualisation The ‘Prehension’ dimension: modes of grasping experience APPREHENSION: the tangible, felt qualities of immediate experience COMPREHENSION: conceptual interpretation and symbolic representations

6 The ‘Transformation’ dimension: modes of processing experience Active experimentation Reflective observation EXTENSION: manipulation of the external world INTENTION: manipulation of the mental world

7 Structural dimensions underlying the process of experiential learning and the resulting basic knowledge forms. (Kolb, 1984) Concrete experience Active experimentation Abstract conceptualisation Reflective observation Grasping by APPREHENSION Grasping by COMPREHENSION Transformation by EXTENSIONINTENSION

8 Inner world Outer world Reflection on outer world builds up inner model Reflection and action on inner world produces conjectures and hypotheses about outer world What does it mean? What shall I do?

9 It’s not just a cycle! All four learning modes are present to the learner simultaneously The learner is constantly moving between the concrete and the abstract and between reflection and action.

10 “…all forms of human adaptation (learning) approximate to scientific inquiry.” David Kolb 1984

11 “Learning is best facilitated in an environment where there is dialectic tension and conflict between immediate concrete experience and analytical detachment.” David Kolb (1984: p.9)

12 Practical implications of Kolb’s cycle for learning Getting round the cycle Appraisal & revalidation Mentoring Reflection Action planning

13 Experiential learning lAll learning is learning from experience lWork-experience l‘On the job training’ lDoing the job & learning simultaneously lWorking independently lSelf-directed learning lSelf-monitoring lReflection lEducational & clinical supervision lMentoring lAppraisal

14 Getting the experiences At each stage in the cycle, how can the learner optimise their learning? What stands in the way? What opportunities are there?

15 Reflecting on experience Debriefing Getting feedback Critical incidents Self-evaluation

16 Building up knowledge, skills & attitudes Reading the literature Self-directed learning Recording knowledge Practising skills Developing attitudes

17 Deciding on action Personal development plans Action plans Personal objectives Feasibility Achievable?

18 How does reflection help you learn? Experience is transformed into knowledge by reflection Reflection elaborates learning Reflection challenges assumptions Reflection helps relate theory to practice Feedback helps reflection Reflection can be guided via ‘professional conversations’

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20 Personal & professional development: portfolio-based learning, appraisal/supervision All based on and follow the Kolb cycle. Experiences are recorded in Log-book/Portfolio Reflections are recorded and/or facilitated by ‘professional conversation’ with mentor, supervisor. Knowledge, skills and attitudes are built from experience plus reflection and connected to the literature and other knowledge tools. Action plans for further experience are formulated via professional conversations.

21 EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: KEY PRINCIPLES 1.Have experiences 2. Reflect individually and/or with others 3. Be aware of your ‘learning style’ 3. Get and give feedback 4. Actively build mental models, practical skills and attitudes 5. Test hypotheses and action plan 6. Use Log Books & Portfolios to record experiences and reflect

22 Criticisms of Kolb It doesn’t stress the social dimension of learning: it focuses on the individual Some learners do not learn from experience Some learners do not reflect Skills can be learned without thought Ignores social dimension of learning

23 The basic knowledge forms (Kolb, 1984) Concrete experience Active experimentation Abstract conceptualisation Reflective observation DIVERGENT knowledge ASSIMILATIVE knowledge CONVERGENT knowledge ACCOMMODATIVE knowledge ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ?

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26 Concrete experience Active experimentation Abstract conceptualisation Reflective observation DIVERGENT knowledge ASSIMILATIVE knowledge CONVERGENT knowledge ACCOMMODATIVE knowledge Imaginative ability and awareness of meanings and values. View situations from many perspectives and attempt to see the whole picture. Thinking generates alternative ideas and implications. Good at brainstorming. Interested in people and their feelings. Inductive reasoning and the creation of theoretical models by synthesising varied observations into an integrated explanation. More concerned with logically sound abstract ideas than people. Problem solving, decision making and the practical application of ideas. Thinking converges onto the solution of a question or problem, using the hypothetico-deductive method. Orientated towards technical tasks and problems rather than social or interpersonal issues. Doing things, carrying out plans and getting involved in new experiences. The individual adapts themselves to changing immediate circumstances. Problems are solved by trial and error often using other peoples knowledge. Theories are easily discarded and are subordinate to practical facts. Individuals are at ease with people but are often seen as ‘pushy’.

27 Imaginative ability and awareness of meanings and values. View situations from many perspectives and attempt to see the whole picture. Thinking generates alternative ideas and implications. Good at brainstorming. Interested in people and their feelings. Inductive reasoning and the creation of theoretical models by synthesising varied observations into an integrated explanation. More concerned with logically sound abstract ideas than people. Problem solving, decision making and the practical application of ideas. Thinking converges onto the solution of a question or problem, using the hypothetico-deductive method. Orientated towards technical tasks and problems rather than social or interpersonal issues. Doing things, carrying out plans and getting involved in new experiences. The individual adapts themselves to changing immediate circumstances. Problems are solved by trial and error often using other peoples knowledge. Theories are easily discarded and are subordinate to practical facts. Individuals are at ease with people but are often seen as ‘pushy’.

28 Activists Honey & Mumford Learning Styles Reflectors Theorists Pragmatists Get involved, open- minded, enthusiastic, love new things: ‘I’ll try anything once’ Stand back, think, cautious: ‘Look before you leap’ Look for principles, logical, perfectionist: ‘What are the basic assumptions’ Practical, experimental, down to earth: ‘There is always a better way’

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30 T&L Masters 2003

31 T&L Masters 2006

32 Concrete experience Reflective Observation Abstract conceptualisation Active experimentation Deep Learning (Going round the cycle)

33 Concrete experience Reflective Observation Abstract conceptualisation Active experimentation Surface Learning (short-circuit!)

34 Concrete experience Reflective Observation Abstract conceptualisation Active experimentation Trial & Error?

35 As Kolb said….. Psychological categorizations of people such as those depicted by psychological ‘types’ can too easily become stereotypes that tend to trivialize human complexity and thus end up denying human individuality rather than characterizing it. In addition, type theories often have a static and fixed connotation to their descriptions of individuals, lending a fatalistic view of human change and development. –Kolb, Experiential Learning (1982) p 63

36 Constructive Experience: implications for teaching. 1.Acknowledge and respect the learner and start from where they are. 2.Ascertain, activate and build on their prior knowledge. 3.Provide appropriate active learning experiences of an individual and social nature. 4.Facilitate reflection and provide feedback. 5.Recognise the tentative nature of knowledge and encourage enquiry. 6.Encourage individual responsibility for exploration, self- directed learning and action planning. 7.Develop a learning relationship, empathise.


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