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Experiential learning theory: Previous research and new directions

By David A. Kolb, Richard E. Boyatzis and Charalampos Mainemelis

Abstract

Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) provides a holistic model of the learning process and a multilinear model of adult development, both of which are consistent with what we know about how people learn, grow, and develop. The theory is called “Experiential Learning ” to emphasize the central role that experience plays in the learning process, an emphasis that distinguishes ELT from other learning theories. The term “experiential ” is used therefore to differentiate ELT both from cognitive learning theories, which tend to emphasize cognition over affect, and behavioral learning theories that deny any role for subjective experience in the learning process. Another reason the theory is called “experiential ” is its intellectual origins in the experiential works of Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget. Taken together, Dewey’s philosophical pragmatism, Lewin’s social psychology, and Piaget’s cognitivedevelopmental genetic epistemology form a unique perspective on learning and development. (Kolb, 1984). The Experiential Learning Model and Learning Style

Year: 2001
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