Kolb's Learning Cycle
Kolb developed a theory of experiential learning that can give us a useful model by which to develop our reflective practice. This is called The Kolb Cycle, The Learning Cycle or The Experiential Learning Cycle.
The cycle comprises four different stages of learning from experience and can be entered at any point but all stages must be followed in sequence for successful learning to take place.
The Learning Cycle suggests that it is not sufficient to have an experience in order to learn. It is necessary to reflect on the experience to make generalisations and formulate concepts which can then be applied to new situations. This learning must then be tested out in new situations. The learner must make the link between the theory and action by planning, acting out, reflecting and relating it back to the theory.
The four stages are:
- Concrete Experience (doing / having an experience)
- Reflective Observation (reviewing / reflecting on the experience)
- Abstract Conceptualisation (concluding / learning from the experience)
- Active Experimentation (planning / trying out what you have learned)
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