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Literature Review and Critique of the Experiential Learning Model - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING MODEL Literature Review and Critique of the Experiential Learning Model [Name] [University] Literature Review and Critique of the Experiential Learning Model Overview Experience in learning has continued to be valued in modern society…
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Literature Review and Critique of the Experiential Learning Model

127) while also providing an opportunity for the participants to practice and refine their learning. According to Kolb (1984), learning is the “transformation of experience into knowledge” (p. 38). According to Kolb’s experiential learning model, learners grasp information via concrete experiences (CE) and abstract concepts (AC) and then transform this information using reflective observation (RO) and active experimentation (AE). This paper will review available literature to find out the effectiveness of experiential learning model when applied in a learning situation. Literature Review Definitions of Experiential Learning Experiential learning occurs when learners interact with other people, information and/or experience. It includes the process of practice, interaction and reflection that follow one another with an emphasis on feedback. According to Fenwick (2001) the "basic conceptualization of experiential learning is an independent learner, cognitively reflecting on concrete experience to construct new understandings, perhaps with the assistance of-an educator, toward some social goal of progress or improvement. (p. 7) Kolb's Experiential Learning Model Kolb developed his experiential learning model in 1974. In his model, Kolb emphasized the role that experience plays in the learning process. He believed that learning occurs in a four stage repetitive cycle. Although learning can start occurring at any of these stages, the concrete experience stage is considered to be the first step in the learning process. During this stage, an individual is performing a task or experiencing a certain situation. Reflection consists of reviewing what has been done or experienced. Conceptualization involves the interpretation of the events that have been noticed and understanding the relationships among them. Finally, experimentation enables a learner to actually apply what has been learnt in new life situations. "Immediate, concrete experience is the basis for observation and reflection. These observations are assimilated into "theory" from which new implications for action can be deduced. These implications or hypotheses then serve as guides in acting to create new experiences" (Kolb, 1974, p. 28). Ricci (2000) completed a phenomenological study of the experience of learning in adult higher education. The study was conducted with twelve undergraduate college students, ages 20-50. The study revealed the essential nature of the complex interaction of several components (themes) in adult learning, while also highlighting the unique expression of learning structure by each individual. The study supported the perceiving and processing dimensions of Kolb's model; however, it also revealed more factors, such as learner's self-motivation, the learning situation itself, and other environmental factors that facilitate successful learning (Ricci, 2000). Similarly to Ricci's study, Decker's (1996) study examined whether the Interpersonal and Intercultural Adjustment curriculum moved the student through the four stages ofthe experiential learning cycle proposed and described by Kolb. Decker also sought to identify the essential curricular and pedagogical components of the curriculum that contributed to the effectiveness of the course. A qualitative research methodology consisting of participant observation, narrative analysis, and ethnographic interviewing provided strong support to the hypothesis that students did show evidence of movement though Kolb's four stages of learning. The ... Read More
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