Experiential Learning & Reflection

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We are students in our 2nd year of a BA (Hons) Professional Studies in Education. As a class we were asked to act as a 'community of practice' to explore different teaching and learning theories, the result was this presentation. Thank you Ann for inspiring us and getting us started.

Transcript of Experiential Learning & Reflection

  • 1. Experiential Learning & Reflection BA: Teaching & Learning Module Presentation by Des Rodney & Sarah Horsley
  • 2. Experiential Learning Cycle
    • Besides his work on experiential learning, Kolb is also known for his contribution to thinking around organizational behaviour .
    • He has an interest in the nature of individual and social change, experiential learning, career development and executive and professional education.
    David Kolb
  • 3. Experiential Learning Theory (ELT)
    • Kolbs work derives from the intellectual origins in the experiential works of Lewin, Piaget, Dewey, Freire and James during the 1900s.
    • Kolbs work is viewed by academics, teachers and trainers as a fundamental concept towards the understanding and explanation of human behaviour.
  • 4. Can you remember the four stages?
    • F orming abstract concepts
    • C oncrete experience
    • T esting in new situations
    • O bservation and reflection
    Look at the diagram. Place the text in the correct order and name the theorist?
  • 5. Kolbs theory works on two levels
    • First Level: A four stage cycle
    • Concrete experience (CE)
    • Reflective observation (RO)
    • Abstract conceptualisation (AC)
    • Active experimentation (AE)
  • 6.
    • Concrete experience : being involved in a new experience
    • Reflective observation : watching others or developing observations about ones own experience
    • Abstract conceptualization : creating theories to explain observations
    • Active experimentation : using theories to solve problems, make decisions
  • 7. And a four- type definition of learning styles 1 2 3 4
  • 8. Second Level: each representing a combination of two preferred styles
    • Diverging: to move apart (CE/RO)
    • Assimilating: to absorb take up mentally (AC/RO)
    • Converging: to come together (AC/AE)
    • Accommodating: adapt-make fit-change to suit new purpose (CE/AE)
  • 10.
    • Kolb also claimed that whatever influences the choice of style, the learning style preference is the product of two pairs of variables.
    • Concrete Experience -----V----- Abstract Conceptualization
    • (feeling) (thinking)
    • Active Experimentation -----V----- Reflective Observation
    • (doing) (watching)
  • 11.
    • When presenting the two continuums we can see that the east to west axis is called the
    • Processing Continuum (how we approach a task), and the north to south axis is called the
    • Perception Continuum, (our emotional response).
  • 12.
    • The continuums show that we cannot do both at the same time
    • T o pursue this would create conflict
    • When involved in a new learning situation we make a choice
    • to do or watch and at the same time
    • to think or feel
  • 13. What experiential learning is, and what it is not: Experience is used to test out ideas and assumptions rather than to passively obtain practice. It is active exploration. Experiential learning is not the same as discovery learning. Activities must be carefully designed by teachers, and learners must reflect on their experience in a critical way. Adapted from Gibbs, G (1987). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Birmingham: FEU Birmingham Polytechnic.
  • 14. Critique of Kolb's theory
    • Having described Kolbs theory it is only fair to also include a critique.
    • Research in 1977 titled A Definitive Critique of Experiential Learning Theory was carried out, this was at the request of Kolb himself.
    • It involved an analysis of the intellectual and scientific roots of Experiential Learning Theory.
    • Alongside this was also an analysis of the foundational references, in order to address three questions fundamental to the theory.
  • 15.
    • What is learning?
    • Are the Experiential Learning Model modes separate and distinctive in their functions so as to necessitate a four stage cycle for learning taking place?
    • Is dialectic tension the mechanism that mediates the relationship between the modes and between the person and the environment?
  • 16.
    • The research firstly addressed learning and the definition derived by the ELT. It concluded on this part that the ELTs definition is a dramatic distortion of the epistemological fundaments it references.
    • Secondly the research addressed ELTS foundational proposition, the learning modes, their nature and place in relation to theory. It concluded that all four modes were not required for learning to take place. There were also contradictions and inconsistencies within the theory.
  • 17.
    • Finally the researched addressed the use of dialectic tension as the mediating function of learning. It traced the meaning of dialectic from Socrates up to ELT and concluded that dialectic tension was not a viable mechanism for mediating modes of learning.
    • The paper concluded that the infrastructure of the theory its model and learning style inventory to be faulty at the core and recommended that the operational evolution of learning styles and modes of learning be re-evaluated.