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Reflective practice: the enduring influence of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

By Paul Dennison


Since 1984 David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) has been a leading influence in the development of learner-centred pedagogy in management and business. It forms the basis of Kolb’s own Learning Styles’ Inventory and those of other authors including Honey and Mumford (2000). It also provides powerful underpinning for the emphasis, nay insistence, on reflection as a way of learning and the use of reflective practice in the preparation of students for business and management and other professions. In this paper, we confirm that Kolb’s ELT is still the most commonly cited source used in relation to reflective practice. Kolb himself continues to propound its relevance to teaching and learning in general. However, we also review some of the criticisms that ELT has attracted over the years and advance new criticisms that challenge its relevance to higher education and its validity as a model for formal, intentional learning

Topics: L1
Publisher: Educational Development, University of Greenwich
Year: 2010
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