Learning Essay

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Learning

In 1989, the 4MAT Learning Cycle appeared on the educational horizon in Fort Worth, Texas.   Bernice McCarthy and her cadre of facilitators unveiled an educational design tool that revolutionized the teaching and learning process in Texas classrooms as well as classrooms across America.   Being selected as a student to first learn this design was my first step in the spiraling process.   Then the internalization of the concepts to the application of the design in schools evolved into facilitating groups of other adults in the internalization and application of the “Learning Cycle”.   Now, sixteen years later, I am presented with the same design through a different lens of purpose and application.   The Revving Up Course expanded the work of Bernice McCarthy to address the facilitation of the learning process with life-long learners—adults.   The purpose of this paper is two-fold.   First, an explanation of the concepts and theories of learnings styles and facilitation techniques as the promote action learning will be discussed.   Secondly, the application of the concepts and theories will be overlaid on to my own practices as a facilitator of adult learning in   order to examine specific traits analyze their effectiveness, and determine a course of action for personal and professional growth.
    To begin this journey, the foundation of the Learning Cycle must be examined.   The Cycle represents the dynamic relationship between reflection and action;   thinking and doing; or what goes on in the head versus what goes through the body.   The Cycle is not recursive, but one that coils into a looping effect over and over to create a three-dimensional spiral.   Think of the simple Slinky toy.   Held close and tight together, its coils are compressed and firm.   As the Slinky is spread apart, the coils relax and begin to have motion.   This exemplifies the same process of the Learning Cycle as it is sometimes very difficult to move from Reflection to Action or visa versa,...

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