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  • Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience, i.e., "learning

  • from experience". The experience can be staged or left open.

  • Aristotle once said, "For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by

  • doing them". David A. Kolb helped to popularize the idea of experiential learning drawing

  • heavily on the work of John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, and Jean Piaget. His work on experiential

  • learning has contributed greatly to expanding the philosophy of experiential education.

  • Overview Experiential learning is learning through

  • reflection on doing, which is often contrasted with rote or didactic learning. Experiential

  • learning is related to, but not synonymous with, experiential education, action learning,

  • adventure learning, free choice learning, cooperative learning, and service learning.

  • While there are relationships and connections between all these theories of education, importantly

  • they are also separate terms with separate meanings.

  • Experiential learning focuses on the learning process for the individual. It is often used

  • synonymously with the phrase "experiential education", however, while experiential learning

  • considers the individual learning process, experiential education should be considered

  • a broader philosophy of education. As such, it is concerned with issues such as the relationship

  • of teacher and student, as well as broader issues of educational structure and objectives.

  • An example of experiential learning is going to the zoo and learning through observation

  • and interaction with the zoo environment, as opposed to reading about animals from a

  • book. Thus, one makes discoveries and experiments with knowledge firsthand, instead of hearing

  • or reading about others' experiences. In business school, internship, and job-shadowing, opportunities

  • in a student’s field of interest are elevated as examples of valuable experiential learning

  • which contribute significantly to the student’s overall understanding of the real-time environment.

  • A third example of experiential learning involves learning how to ride a bike, a process which

  • can illustrate the widely known four-step experiential learning model as purported by

  • Kolb and outlined in Figure 1 below. Following this example, in the "concrete experience"

  • stage, the learner physically experiences the bike in the "here-and-now". This experience

  • forms "the basis for observation and reflection" and the learner has the opportunity to consider

  • what is working or failing, and to think about ways to improve on the next attempt made at

  • riding. Every new attempt to ride is informed by a cyclical pattern of previous experience,

  • thought and reflection. Figure 1 – David Kolb’s Experiential Learning

  • Model Experiential learning can exist without a

  • teacher and relates solely to the meaning-making process of the individual's direct experience.

  • However, though the gaining of knowledge is an inherent process that occurs naturally,

  • for a genuine learning experience to occur, there must exist certain elements. According

  • to David A. Kolb, an American educational theorist, knowledge is continuously gained

  • through both personal and environmental experiences. Kolb states that in order to gain genuine

  • knowledge from an experience, certain abilities are required:

  • The learner must be willing to be actively involved in the experience;

  • The learner must be able to reflect on the experience;

  • The learner must possess and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience; and

  • The learner must possess decision making and problem solving skills in order to use the

  • new ideas gained from the experience. Implementation

  • Experiential activities are among the most powerful teaching and learning tools available.

  • Experiential learning requires self-initiative, an "intention to learn" and an "active phase

  • of learning". Kolb's cycle of experiential learning can be used as a framework for considering

  • the different stages involved. Jennifer A. Moon has elaborated on this cycle to argue

  • that experiential learning is most effective when it involves: 1) a "reflective learning

  • phase" 2) a phase of learning resulting from the actions inherent to experiential learning,

  • and 3) "a further phase of learning from feedback". This process of learning can result in "changes

  • in judgment, feeling or skills" for the individual and can provide direction for the "making

  • of judgments as a guide to choice and action". Most educators understand the important role

  • experience plays in the learning process. The role of emotion and feelings in learning

  • from experience has been recognised as an important part of experiential learning. While

  • those factors may improve the likelihood of experiential learning occurring, it can occur

  • without them. Rather, what is vital in experiential learning is that the individual is encouraged

  • to directly involve themselves in the experience, and then to reflect on their experiences using

  • analytic skills, in order that they gain a better understanding of the new knowledge

  • and retain the information for a longer time. Reflection is a crucial part of the experiential

  • learning process, and like experiential learning itself, it can be facilitated or independent.

  • Dewey wrote that "successive portions of reflective thought grow out of one another and support

  • one another", creating a scaffold for further learning, and allowing for further experiences

  • and reflection. This reinforces the fact that experiential learning and reflective learning

  • are iterative processes, and the learning builds and develops with further reflection

  • and experience. Facilitation of experiential learning and reflection is challenging, but

  • "a skilled facilitator, asking the right questions and guiding reflective conversation before,

  • during, and after an experience, can help open a gateway to powerful new thinking and

  • learning". Jacobson and Ruddy, building on Kolb's four-stage Experiential Learning Model

  • and Pfeiffer and Jones's five stage Experiential Learning Cycle, took these theoretical frameworks

  • and created a simple, practical questioning model for facilitators to use in promoting

  • critical reflection in experiential learning. Their "5 Questions" model is as follows:

  • Did you notice...? Why did that happen?

  • Does that happen in life? Why does that happen?

  • How can you use that? These questions are posed by the facilitator

  • after an experience, and gradually lead the group towards a critical reflection on their

  • experience, and an understanding of how they can apply the learning to their own life.

  • Although the questions are simple, they allow a relatively inexperienced facilitator to

  • apply the theories of Kolb, Pfeiffer, and Jones, and deepen the learning of the group.

  • While it is the learner's experience that is most important to the learning process,

  • it is also important not to forget the wealth of experience a good facilitator also brings

  • to the situation. However, while a "facilitator", traditionally called a "teacher", may improve

  • the likelihood of experiential learning occurring, a "facilitator" is not essential to experiential

  • learning. Rather, the mechanism of experiential learning is the learner's reflection on experiences

  • using analytic skills. This can occur without the presence of a facilitator, meaning that

  • experiential learning is not defined by the presence of a facilitator. Yet, by considering

  • experiential learning in developing course or program content, it provides an opportunity

  • to develop a framework for adapting varying teaching/learning techniques into the classroom.

  • Experiential learning in schools Think Global School is a four-year traveling

  • high school that holds classes in a new country each term. Students engage in experiential

  • learning through activities such as workshops, cultural exchanges, museum tours, and nature

  • expeditions. The Dawson School in Boulder, Colorado, devotes

  • two weeks of each school year to experiential learning, with students visiting surrounding

  • states to engage in community service, visit museums and scientific institutions, and engage

  • in activities such as mountain biking, backpacking, and canoeing.

  • Experiential learning in business education As higher education continues to adapt to

  • new expectations from students, experiential learning in business and accounting programs

  • has become more important. For example, Clark & White point out that "a quality university

  • business education program must include an experiential learning component". With reference

  • to this study, employers note that graduating students need to build skills inprofessionalism

  • which can be taught via experiential learning. Students also value this learning as much

  • as industry. Learning styles also impact business education

  • in the classroom. Kolb transposes four learning styles, Diverger, Assimilator, Accommodator

  • and Converger, atop the Experiential Learning Model, using the four experiential learning

  • stages to carve out "four quadrants", one for each learning style. An individual’s

  • dominant learning style can be identified by taking Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory.

  • Robert Loo undertook a meta-analysis of 8 studies which revealed that Kolb’s learning

  • styles were not equally distributed among business majors in the sample. More specifically,

  • results indicated that there appears to be a high proportion of assimilators and a lower

  • proportion of accommodators than expected for business majors. Not surprisingly, within

  • the accounting sub-sample there was a higher proportion of convergers and a lower proportion

  • of accommodators. Similarly, in the finance sub-sample, a higher proportion of assimilators

  • and lower proportion of divergers was apparent. Within the marketing sub-sample there was

  • an equal distribution of styles. This would provide some evidence to suggest that while

  • it is useful for educators to be aware of common learning styles within business and

  • accounting programs, they should be encouraging students to use all four learning styles appropriately

  • and students should use a wide range of learning methods.

  • Professional education applications, also known as management training or organizational

  • development, apply experiential learning techniques in training employees at all levels within

  • the business and professional environment. Interactive, role-play based customer service

  • training is often used in large retail chains. Training board games simulating business and

  • professional situations such as the Beer Distribution Game used to teach supply chain management,

  • and the Friday Night at the ER game used to teach systems thinking, are used in business

  • training efforts. Comparisons

  • Experiential learning is most easily compared with academic learning, the process of acquiring

  • information through the study of a subject without the necessity for direct experience.

  • While the dimensions of experiential learning are analysis, initiative, and immersion, the

  • dimensions of academic learning are constructive learning and reproductive learning. Though

  • both methods aim at instilling new knowledge in the learner, academic learning does so

  • through more abstract, classroom-based techniques, whereas experiential learning actively involves

  • the learner in a concrete experience. See also

  • People John Dewey

  • Paulo Freire David A. Kolb

  • Carl Rogers Jean Piaget

  • Maria Montessori Rudolf Steiner

  • Kurt Hahn See also

  • References

Experiential learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience, i.e., "learning

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B1 INT UK experiential experiential learning learning experience learner facilitator

Experiential learning

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    耀梅林   posted on 2017/11/17
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