Kolb Theory Presentation by Theresa Bridges, James Cardin, and Amanda Walker
Critique and Future Directions
What is Typological Theory?
Reflects different learning styles
Explains interpersonal interactions
Patterned after Jung’s work
Learning depends on:
Past life experiences
Four Stages or Cycles
Concrete Experience (CE)
Reflective Observation (RO)
Abstract Conceptualization (AC)
Active Experimentation (AE)
Combination of AC and AE
Good problem solvers and decision makers
Excel at tasks that involve the single best answer
Often work in the physical sciences and engineering
Combination of CE and RO
Produce alternative solutions to problems
Usually people and feeling oriented
Usually work in humanities and liberal arts
Combination of AC and RO
Have the ability to create theories
Have logical thinking skills
Focus on ideas and concepts rather than people
Usually work in basic sciences and mathematics
Combination of CE and AE
Plan and complete tasks
Open to new experiences and change
Comfortable with people
Usually work in practical fields, such as business
Involving the learner in the experience
Field experience, role play, interviews
Engage in activities that require him/her to step back and look at the experience or get others’ perspectives
Small Group Sessions
Experiential Learning (con’t)
Student using research and methods of their discipline to develop hypotheses when engaging in films, lectures or computer assisted instruction
Students can apply principles or theories in problem solving
Role play, “what if” situations, action planning
According to Kolb (1984, 41), "learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping experience and transforming it." He proposes that experiential learning has six main characteristic:
Learning is best conceived as a process, not in terms of outcomes.
Six Characteristics of Learning
Learning is a continuous process grounded in experience.
Learning requires the resolution of conflicts between dialectically opposed modes of adaptation to the world (learning is by its very nature full of tension).
Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world.
Learning involves transactions between the person and the environment.
Learning is the process of creating knowledge that is the result of the transaction between social knowledge and personal knowledge.
"The Learning Style Inventory (LSI) is a simple self-description test, based on experiential learning theory, that is designed to measure your strengths and weaknesses as a learner. Experiential learning is conceived as a four stage cycle: (1) immediate concrete experience is the basis for (2) observation and reflection; (3) these observations are assimilated into a "theory" from which new implications for action can be deduced; (4) these implications or hypotheses then serve as guides in acting to create new experiences.
Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory (LSI)
Assessment Tool LSI
Complete the Learning Styles Inventory handout
See handout for detailed explanation of results.
Chickering, A.W. & Associates. (1981). The modern American college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Chickering, A.W. & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Delworth, U., Hanson, G. & Associates. (1989). Student services. (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Evans, N., Forney, D., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student development in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Komives, S.R., Woodard, D.B. & Associates. (2003). Student services: A handbook for the profession. (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kolb, D. A. (1981) 'Learning styles and disciplinary differences'. in A. W. Chickering (ed.) The Modern American College , San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kolb, D. (1985). Learning style inventory. Boston, MA: McBer and Company