Kolbs Learning Cycle

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Kolb’s Learning theory Kolb (1984) offers an experiential learning cycle, based on the learning models of Lewin, Dewey and Piaget. The core of Kolb's four-stage model is a simple description of the learning cycle which shows how experience is translated through reflection into concepts, which in turn are used as guides for active experimentation and the choice of new experiences. Kolb refers to these four stages as: concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC) and active experimentation (AE). They follow each other in a cycle. The cycle may be entered at any point, but the stages should be followed in sequence. The learning cycle thus provides feedback, which is the basis for new action and evaluation of the consequences of that action. Learners should go through the cycle several times, so it may best be thought of as a spiral of cycles. In brief Kolb conceptualizes the process of action research as "a spiral of action and research consisting of four major moments: plan, act, observe and reflect " (Zuber-Skerritt 1992b, 11). Race (1993) has proposed a variant on Kolb's model also using more everyday language. He refers to the stages as: wanting, doing, feedback and digesting. As its name indicates, the 'experiential learning theory' affirms the importance of experiential activities such as fieldwork and laboratory sessions, however it does not prioritise those forms of learning. What is important is to systematically take the learner around each stage of the cycle, ensuring that effective links are made between each stage. Greater Expectations, Smart Business Coaching Course, Session 4 Optional Material Page 1 The model offers an explicit critique of those highly theoretical programmes or courses that do not value the prior experience or knowledge of students. It is similarly critical of those experiential
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