Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 27

University of Rizal System Angono

THEORIES OF LEARNING




May Masbate
J o-Ann Perez
J oel Isleta
Rocelle Beric
Danilo Blanco J r.



Celina A. Bautista-Cerda
ED.3: Principles of Teaching 1
August 01, 2014







T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 1

Table of Contents
Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 2
Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) .................................................................................................. 3
The Significance of Banduras Theory ....................................................................................................... 4
Banduras Conditions ................................................................................................................................ 5
Application ................................................................................................................................................ 5
Example ..................................................................................................................................................... 5
Principles ................................................................................................................................................... 6
Insights ...................................................................................................................................................... 6
Social Development Theory (Vygotsky) .................................................................................................... 8
Four Stage Process of ZPD ........................................................................................................................ 9
Insights ...................................................................................................................................................... 9
Confucius's Educational Theory .............................................................................................................. 11
Insights .................................................................................................................................................... 16
The Tabula Rasa ...................................................................................................................................... 18
Insights .................................................................................................................................................... 20
Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory ........................................................................................................ 22
The Four Stage Learning Cycle ................................................................................................................ 22
Concrete Experience (CE) ........................................................................................................................ 23
Reflective Observation (RO) .................................................................................................................... 23
Abstract Conceptualisation (AC) ............................................................................................................. 24
Active Experimentation (AE) ................................................................................................................... 24
Kolb's Learning Styles .............................................................................................................................. 24
Insights .................................................................................................................................................... 25
References .................................................................................................................................................. 26


T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 2

Introduction
Learning is one of the most essential human activities. It is the essential core of
the educational process. For thousands of years man sought the answer to what learning
is its nature, the process involved, the elements that affects it and how can one person
influence the learning of another through teaching. Because of this, various theories are
designed, studied and suggested to explain what learning is and how do people learn.
According to Wikipedia, Learning theories are conceptual frameworks describing
how information is absorbed, processed, and retained during learning. Cognitive,
emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in
how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed, and knowledge and skills
retained.
1

As we can glean from that definition above, learning theories are tools that
describes how do people learn.
These theories are not essentially discordant but rather complements each other
since they are relevant to the different types of learning and presents different perceptions
on the complex process of learning.
As you read further on, you will learn about some of these theories of learning and
the insights of the researcher are presented on this paper.


1
Wikipedia contributors, "Learning theory (education)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Learning_theory_(education)&oldid=617679305 (accessed July 30,
2014).

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 3

Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura)
Albert Bandura is a Canadian-born American psychologist and originator of social
cognitive theory who is probably best known for his modeling study on aggression,
referred to as the Bobo doll experiment, which demonstrated that children can learn
behaviours through the observation of adults.
2

Social learning theory is a well-documented theory of learning and cognition
developed in 1977 by Albert Bandura. The main ideas behind this theory state that people
learn new concepts most effectively through imitation, modeling and observation of the
actions and behaviors of others. This theory was groundbreaking because it contradicted
the instructor-led lecture style of most classrooms at the time.
3

The social learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing
and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Bandura (1977)
states: "Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people
had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately,
most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others
one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded
information serves as a guide for action." (p22). Social learning theory explains human
behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, an
environmental influences. The component processes underlying observational learning
2
Jeannette L. Nolen, Bandura, Albert. (2014), Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopdia Britannica Ultimate
Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopdia Britannica.
3
Sandie Rollins, Social Learning Theory of Bandura,
http://www.ehow.com/about_5435919_social-learning-theory-bandura.html (updated July 22, 2014, accessed July
27, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 4

are: (1) Attention, including modeled events (distinctiveness, affective valence,
complexity, prevalence, functional value) and observer characteristics (sensory
capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement), (2) Retention, including
symbolic coding, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal), (3) Motor
Reproduction, including physical capabilities, self-observation of reproduction, accuracy
of feedback, and (4) Motivation, including external, vicarious and self reinforcement.
Because it encompasses attention, memory and motivation, social learning theory
spans both cognitive and behavioral frameworks. Bandura's theory improves upon the
strictly behavioral interpretation of modeling provided by Miller & Dollard
(1941). Banduras work is related to the theories of Vygotsky and Lave, which also
emphasize the central role of social learning.
4

The Significance of Banduras Theory
Social learning theory is especially pertinent to the fields of education and
psychology. When the study was first introduced, most student learning was teacher-
driven, with information conveyed in lectures. In today's classrooms, more often than not,
teachers employ a workshop approach to learning, which is a social learning technique.
Bandura's studies have also been directly applied to cases of aggression and in the
treatment of behavioral issues or problems. This is where the modeling component is key.

4
Instructional Design, Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) (2013),
(Online) http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/social-learning.html (accessed July 27, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 5

Banduras Conditions
Bandura included some specific conditions in his theory that must exist for social
learning to occur. For social learning to be successful, the observer/learner must do the
following: pay attention to the modeled behavior/action; be able to retain or remember the
behavior/action; be able to repeat the behavior/action without prompting; and be
motivated enough to want to demonstrate what they have learned.
5

Application
Social learning theory has been applied extensively to the understanding of
aggression (Bandura, 1973) and psychological disorders, particularly in the context of
behavior modification (Bandura, 1969). It is also the theoretical foundation for the
technique of behavior modeling which is widely used in training programs. In recent years,
Bandura has focused his work on the concept of self-efficacy in a variety of contexts (e.g.,
Bandura, 1997).
Example
The most common (and pervasive) examples of social learning situations are
television commercials. Commercials suggest that drinking a certain beverage or using a
particular hair shampoo will make us popular and win the admiration of attractive people.
Depending upon the component processes involved (such as attention or motivation), we
may model the behavior shown in the commercial and buy the product being advertised.
5
Rollins, Social Learning Theory of Bandura

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 6

Principles
1. The highest level of observational learning is achieved by first organizing,
rehearsing the modeled behavior symbolically, and then enacting it overtly. Coding
modeled behavior into words, labels or images results in better retention than
simply observing.
2. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if it results in outcomes
they value.
3. Individuals are more likely to adopt a modeled behavior if the model is similar to
the observer and has admired status and the behavior has functional value.
6

Insights
Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) posits that people learn from one another
via observation, imitation and modeling. The Theory has often been called a bridge
between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention,
memory and motivation. In this Theory, learning is not purely behavioral; rather, it is a
cognitive process that takes place in social context. Learning can occur by observing a
behavior and by observing the consequences of the behavior (vicarious reinforcement).
It involves observation, extraction of information from those observation and making
decisions about the performance of the behavior (observational learning or modeling).
Learning can occur without an observable change in behavior. The learner is not a
passive recipient of information. Cognition, environment and behavior all mutually
6
Instructional Design

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 7

influence each other (reciprocal determinism). Reinforcement plays role in learning but is
not entirely responsible for learning.
Prepared by: May M.Masbate















T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 8

Social Development Theory (Vygotsky)
LEV SEMYONOVICH VYGOTSKY (1896-1934) is a preeminent figure in the field
of 20
th
century education, and his impact continues to resonate. His seminal work on
Social Cognition is based on his theory that learning is, at its core, a largely a socially
mediated activity, and that real learning takes place in one's "Zone of Proximal
Development."
7

Social Development Theory and ZPD Vygotsky theory is one of the foundations of
constructivism. It asserts three major themes:
1. Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive
development. In contrast to J ean Piaget's understanding of child and development
(in which development necessarily precedes learning), Vygotsky felt social
learning precedes development.
2. The more knowledgeable other. Refers to anyone who has a better understanding
or a higher ability level the learner with respect to a particular task, process or
concept. The MKO is normally thought of, as being teacher, coach, or older adult
but the MKO could also be peers, a younger person or even computers.
7
Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, (Online)
http://www.etc.edu.cn/eet/articles/vygotsky_zpd/index.htm (accessed July 28, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 9

3. The Zone of Proximal Development. The ZPD is the distance between a students
ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and
the students ability solving the problem independently.
8

Four Stage Process of ZPD
Stage 1. Assistance provided by MKO
Stage 2. Assistance provided by self
Stage 3. Automatization through practice
Stage 4. De-automatization; recursiveness through previous three stages
Insights
I believed that learning comes from all the experiences in our life, from our parents,
from the school that our teachers taught to us, and from socialization in different people
that surrounds us. Social interaction plays a big role in the process of learning. It develop
the cognitive sides of learning. Vygotsky stated that "Every function in the child's cultural
development appear twice: on the social level; between people (interpsychological) and
on the individual level; inside the child (intrapsychological). According to Vygotsky
learning occurred in the Zone of Proximal Development. ZPD is the gap between what
learner can accomplish independently and what a learner cannot do even with assistance.
Together with the more knowledgeable others who has the higher ability level these group
of people helps a lot in more better understanding of a learner. They can coach, teach
8
Learning-Theories.com, Social Development Theory, (Online) http://www.learning-theories.com/vygotskys-
social-learning-theory.html (accessed July 28, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 10

and give information. This theory focused on the connections between people and the
sociocultural context in which they act and interact in shared experience. Learning is a
reciprocal experience for the students and teachers. As Vygotsky believed "what the child
is able to do in collaboration today, he will be able to do independently tomorrow". I do
believed that collaboration is also a factor in teaching and gaining a knowledge. Social
development argues that social interaction precedes development; consciousness and
cognition are the product of socialization and social behavior.
Prepared by: Jo-Ann Perez











T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 11


Confucius's Educational Theory
1. Theory of Value: What knowledge and skills are worthwhile learning? What are the
goals of education?
Since Confucius goal was to reform the government, his goals for education were
to produce men who were capable to serve in government in decisive roles. He attempted
to produce chun tzu, which is quite similar to the English word, gentleman. Originally
both Chinese and English words meant one born into a high social station, but both came
to mean one with a proper and suitable behavior and cultivation, regardless of birth. His
main goal was the cultivation of character, through observation, study and reflective
thought.
2. Theory of Knowledge: What is knowledge? How is it different from belief? What is a
mistake? What is a lie?
To know Nature and the Way of Nature, one must observe. I have no inborn
knowledge. I love antiquity and I search for it (knowledge) assiduously. He also said,
among three men who are walking together (myself being one of them), I am certain to
find my teacher, a good one in order to emulate him, and a bad one in order (recognize
in him what in myself I must) correct.
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 12

But to recognize what one observes, one must process it. He is quoted as saying
to a student, do you think that my way of acquiring knowledge is simply to study many
things and remember them? The student said, yes, isnt that case? Confucius replied, No,
I have one principle which I use like a thread, upon which to string them all. These sounds
like a rationalist who seeks to arrange his observations (the worlds phenomena)
according to the principle of his own mind. I think Confucius would say that belief is
premature knowledge based on insufficient observation and/or insufficient processing. A
mistake is acting on premature knowledge based on insufficient observation and/or
insufficient processing. Confucius would say that a lie is having full knowledge, and
deliberately misrepresenting that knowledge.
3. Theory of Human Nature: What is a human being? How does it differ from other
species? What are the limits of human potential?
Confucius was much influenced by philosophy of his much older contemporary,
Lao tzu, who is reputedly the founder of Taoism.
Tao is Nature. Nature includes everything in the universe that proceeds on its course
without being interruption. Tao is the way of Nature. Tao consists of many Taos, and
every such Tao also has a natural way of its own to follow. Nature is good; and each
nature, at least so long as it pursues its own course without being interfered with by other
natures or without imposing its own nature upon others.
Although the philosophy of Lao Tzu. Was not completely antisocial, it did
encourage
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 13

Hermetic practices and tended towards anarchy. Confucius philosophy was that it was
natural for man to be social, and that the principles of initiation and completion, beginnings
and endings, comings and goings, (yang and yin) were a natural process in human
association also, if one takes the trouble to recognize them. He believed that a truly
cooperative world was the way of Nature.
Human differ from other species in their tendency to meddle with Nature.
An individual humans potential is limited by the individuals ability to recognize his/her
true nature, the individuals ability to follow the way of his/her true nature, and by his/her
true nature itself. Human potential collectively is limited by all of the above collectively,
including all of the above for all those past, present, and future.
4. Theory of Learning: What is learning? How are skills and knowledge acquired?
Confucius said, Study without thought is labor lost; thought without study is
dangerous. When referring to his own way of learning, he said To hear much, select
what is good, and follow it; Thus he saw learning as a process of observation of some
type of subject matter whether it be books, objects, or people, followed by reflection, that
somehow changed one. He saw learning as a highly personal and therefore, highly
individual activity. He seemed to feel once awakened by any kind of real learning; this
process would be repeated by the student.
5. Theory of Transmission: Who is to teach? By what methods? What will the curriculum
be?
Confucius would have required that a teacher be one who has developed their own
character. Confucius, himself was a teacher, and his methods were very informal, and
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 14

tailored to the individual. He did not use structured classes or examinations. Instead, he
suggested to each student what they should study, and then discussed it with them and
sometimes just listened. He is said to have taken the stock of each student, and they
encouraged their strengths, and improved their weaknesses. To this end, he sometimes
answered the same question quite differently to two different students. One occasion the
question was asked whether the student should immediately put into practice something
he was taught. To one student, that Confucius though was piffle of zeal, he recommended
that the student first consult his father and older brothers. To the other student, whom he
thought was lacking in enthusiasm, he said yes, put it into practice right away.
6. Theory of Society: What is society? What institutions are involved in the educational
process?
In the 2 books authored by Confucius, Genuine Living, and Great Wisdom he
clearly states that society starts with the individual, and that one must first develop one
self, to develop ones family. The family serves as a model for the community, the
community as a model for the state, the state as a model for the country, and the country
as a model for other countries. The educational process is first and most importantly the
responsibility of the individual, then the family, then the community, then the state, and
then the country.
7. Theory of Opportunity: Who is to be educated? Who is to be schooled?
A quote from Confucius book Genuine Living says, Developing in accordance with
ones own nature is called the way of self-realization. Proper pursuit of the way of self-
realization is called maturation. In this quote, I believe Confucius proposes education
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 15

for about subject matter and form for that education would vary according to ones own
nature at Confucius own school, he would not teach dullards, and would only teach those
who were bursting with eagerness for enlightenment. However, he would not turn
someone away because they had no money.
8. Theory of Consensus: Why do people disagree? How is consensus achieved?
Whose opinion takes precedence?
People disagree because they focusing on themselves, and not Nature and the
way of Nature. Confucius did not believe any one person was the possessor of the truth.
He believed that through rational discussion the truth could be worked out between two
people, and that the truth often was found somewhere between the two positions. As far
as consensus on a large scale, I think he believed that people would naturally gravitate
to their station in life. Once there they would be governed by what he states are the five
social relationships. Those: between sovereign, subject, between father and son,
between husband and wife, between elder brother, and younger brother, and between
friend and friend associating as equals. The tree traits required in these relationships are:
concern, good will, and conscientiousness. The person whose opinion takes precedence
is the person whose station is assigned that type of decision.
9



9
A. M. McEnroe, Confucius's Educational Theory,
(Online) http://www.newfoundations.com/GALLERY/Confucius.html (accessed July 29, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 16

Insights
Who is Confucius? Confucius is a wise Chinese philosopher who was born more
than 2,500 years ago. He taught his followers how to live a good and moral life, and his
teachings are still studied today. Confucius helped shape Chinese civilization. He lived a
quiet life and made no great discoveries. But by teaching people to respect old ideas of
good behavior, he set standards that are still admired today. Confucius was born in Lu, a
state in northeast China, about 551 bc. His father died when he was three years old, and
he grew up very poor. Even so, Confucius got a good education. He married young, and
worked as a laborer to support his wife and children. Then in 527 bc, he began a new
career as a teacher.
Confucius found the government of China corrupt and lawless. He wanted reform.
Confucius studied the writings of ancient Chinese sages (wise men), and he taught their
ideas to his students. He said that people should be kind, honest, polite, wise, and
obedient. They should respect their parents and honor their ancestors. They should be
good citizens. Confucius also encouraged rulers to set an example of good behavior. He
believed that people would copy the rulers. Everyone would then live peacefully, and the
Chinese people would be rich and happy.
Have you ever heard someone say Do not do to others what you do not want done
to yourself? I you have, then you know at least one saying from Confucius. Its sometimes
called the golden rule of Confucius
Confucius was a Chinese teacher and philosopher. Confucius valued old books
and learning. He believed people should respect their elders and parents. He said that
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 17

leaders couldnt rule well if they didnt live a good life. His sayings and teachings are still
important in China today. Confucius didnt actually write his sayings down. His students
and followers did. Thats why many of his thoughts begin with the phrase Confucius
saidConfucianism is just one of several traditional Chinese religions. Daoism and
Buddhism are other important one.
Prepared by: Joel C. Isleta












T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 18


The Tabula Rasa
English thinker J ohn Locke (16321704) insisted both that children are potentially
free and rational beings, and that the realization of these crucial human qualities tends to
be thwarted through imposition of the sort of prejudice that perpetuates oppression and
superstition. It was, Locke believed, upbringing and education that stymied development
of children's humanity when the older generation, itself enmeshed in prejudice, preferred
to maintain the status quo rather than to examine whether their lives qualified as truly
human through the rational and free action characteristic of autonomous individuals.
Locke argued that when an older generation imposes unquestioned beliefs and ways of
action on its youth, the outcome is bondage rather than actualization of freedom.
Locke characterized a newborn child's mind as a blank sheet of paper, a clean
slate, a tabula rasa. Implicit is a doctrine of egalitarianism, well-known from the fourth
paragraph of the Second Treatise of Government: There is "nothing more evident, than
that Creatures of the same speciesborn to all the same advantages of Nature, and the
use of the same faculties, should also be equal amongst one another without
Subordination or Subjection. This egalitarianism is one of the aspects of the modern
view of human nature, so different from the Platonic or medieval outlooks with their inborn
inequalities foundational to nature-or God-ordained hierarchies in society, church, and
state. For Locke, there are no natural obstructions that would block development of
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 19

children's native potential for acting freely and rationally. True, some possess more agile
intellects or stronger wills than others; but all are innately equipped to become persons
capable of freely following their own reason's pronouncements, that is, to become
autonomous beings.
Egalitarianism is one of two consequences of the doctrine of the tabula rasa. The
second is vulnerability. Young children are at risk because through their senses their
environment inscribes on their minds all sorts of beliefs and practices. Reason would
disapprove of most of these. But even if the inscriptions are rational, the young child's
mind is still incapable of discerning them to be so; for all the child knows these so-called
truths may be falsehoods. Hence, their presence saddles the child with prejudice, and
action based on prejudice will tend to be confining instead of liberating. So when he
proclaimed all human beings equal from birth, Locke also had in mind the precarious
position of children, their equal vulnerability to being habituated to wrong patterns of
thought and behavior. Locke viewed prejudice as the root of evil. It is contracted especially
through children's forced exposure to myopic parents or teachers and the self-serving
powers of church and state. Thus early upbringing and education, guided by prevailing
custom rather than by reason, can be disastrous as it rivets to the mind that which has
the appearance of truth or goodness but which, once believed or enacted, blocks
development of one's humanity.
For Locke, the only natural disposition all children and adults share is that which
makes them pursue pleasure and avoid pain. In this pursuit or avoidance they are not
naturally inclined to either good or evil. Originally, human beings occupy a position of
neutrality: Children are born neither "trailing clouds of glory" (as Wordsworth would have
T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 20

it a century later) nor burdened with original sin (as Augustine proclaimed before the dawn
of medieval times). To be human, children must acquire the inclination to act on what is
true and good, and each must acquire it for herself or himself. Because there is neither
original depravity nor original inclination to knowledge or goodness, the egalitarianism of
the tabula rasa has moral import: to be human, each must personally stake her or his
claim to truth and goodness. But because they cannot do so during the years of early
childhood, this thorough egalitarianism remains coupled with thorough vulnerability. Each
generation, itself imposed upon by the one that preceded it, tends to be more than willing
to impose on children such principles and practices as will enhance their own power. And
so each new generation is vulnerable to the bondage of prejudice, as custom habituates
children into compliance with prevailing beliefs and practices.
10

Insights
TABULA RASA Blank slate , According to J ohn Locke individuals are born
without built- in mental content and that all of their knowledge comes from experience
and perception. However, some scholars believed that before the child was born they
have already the experiences and some built in mental content. To reconcile this on my
mind J ohn Locke maybe only view a newly born child comparing to a person who had
already greater knowledge over that child, but he doesnt stop there , I saw the point of
Learning process . A child is still a child you have to teach them like a blank slate to mold
10
John Locke, Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society,
(Online) http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Ke-Me/Locke-John-1632-1704.html (accessed July 29, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 21

them on what He/ She should be. Yes, the child had already the instinct of survival but
their senses were not fully develop.
A childs mind must be educated before he/she instructed that the true purpose of
education is the cultivation of the intellect rather than accumulation of facts. I agree to
J ohn Locke theory of tabula rasa, that ideal education would instil a strong moral sense.
In particular, a child should be taught virtue, wisdom, breeding and learning.
Prepared by: Rocelle Beric











T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 22

Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory
David A. Kolb (born 1939) is an American educational theorist whose interests and
publications focus on experiential learning, the individual and social change, career
development, and executive and professional education. He is the founder and chairman
of Experience Based Learning Systems, Inc. (EBLS), and a Professor of Organizational
Behavior in the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University,
Cleveland, Ohio.
Kolb earned his BA from Knox College in 1961 and his MA and Ph.D. from Harvard
University in 1964 and 1967 respectively, in social psychology.
11

Kolb's (1984) learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles (or preferences),
which are based on a four-stage learning cycle. Kolb's model offers both a way to
understand individual learning styles, and also an explanation of a cycle of experiential
learning that applies to all learners.
The Four Stage Learning Cycle
Kolb proposed that an individual learner moves through a spiral of immediate
experience, which leads to observations and reflections on the experience. These
reflections are then absorbed and linked with previous knowledge and translated into
abstract concepts or theories, which result in new ways and actions to adjust to the
experience that can be tested and explored.
11
Wikipedia contributors, "David A. Kolb," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_A._Kolb&oldid=605211702 (accessed July 30, 2014).

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 23

Kolb described the four stages in the cycle of experiential learning as:
Concrete Experience - (CE)
Reflective Observation - (RO)
Abstract Conceptualization - (AC)
Active Experimentation - (AE)
Concrete Experience (CE)
This stage of the learning cycle emphasizes personal involvement with people in
everyday situations. In this stage, the learner would tend to rely more on feelings than on
a systematic approach to problems and situations. In a learning situation, the learner
relies on the ability to be open-minded and adaptable to change.
For example, a student performs an initial interview for the first time.
Reflective Observation (RO)
In this stage of the learning cycle, people understand ideas and situations from
different points of view. In a learning situation, the learner would rely on patience,
objectivity, and careful judgment but would not necessarily take any action. The learner
would rely on their own thoughts and feelings in forming opinions.
In the example, after finishing the student reflects on what they did, makes
observations and discusses how they went with their educator.


T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 24

Abstract Conceptualisation (AC)
In this stage, learning involves using theories, logic and ideas, rather than feelings,
to understand problems or situations. Typically, the learner relies on systematic planning
and develops theories and ideas to solve problems.
In the example, the student then thinks about the interview process and their performance
and tries to make links between previous experience of interviewing, the client and what
they heard, and any theories or knowledge they can apply.
Acti ve Experimentation (AE)
Learning in this stage takes an active form - experimenting with changing
situations. The learner would take a practical approach and be concerned with what really
works, as opposed to simply watching a situation.
In the example, the student considers ways to improve, and tries out methods and
strategies based on the previous stages of the cycle.
12

Kolb's Learning Styles
Kolb identified four learning styles, which correspond to these stages. The styles highlight
conditions under which learners learn better. These styles are:
Assimilators, who learn better when presented with sound logical theories to
consider.
12
Shashank Kodesia, Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and learning styles model, JCU Workplace Educators
Resource Package (Online) http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090344.html (last updated August
16, 2013, accessed July 30, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 25

Convergers, who learn better when provided with practical applications of concepts
and theories accommodators, who learn better when provided with hands-on
experiences.
Divergers, who learn better when allowed to observe and collect a wide range of
information
13

Insights
As the name suggest, experiential learning theory involves learning from
experience. In this theory, knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.
It takes into account that experience has a great influence on ones learning process.
Kolbs theory asserts also that people prefers a single different learning style that will work
best for them based on their experiences and situations encountered. I believe that this
theory have some merits since it is true that we tend to learn effectively if it is attuned to
our own preference or style, but I think this theorys focus is limited and people adapts
accordingly and eventually changing his or her learning style that suits whatever
conditions he or she is into.
Prepared by: Danilo Blanco Jr.



13
Learning-Theories.com, Experiential Learning, (Online) http://www.learning-theories.com/experiential-
learning-kolb.html (accessed July 30, 2014)

T h e o r i e s o f L e a r n i n g | 26

References
Bandura, Albert. (2014). Encyclopdia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite(2014). Chicago:
Encyclopdia Britannica.
Experiential Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Learning-Theories.com: http://www.learning-
theories.com/experiential-learning-kolb.html
John Locke. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2014, from Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and
Society: http://www.faqs.org/childhood/Ke-Me/Locke-John-1632-1704.html
Kodesia, S. (2013, August 16). Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and learning styles model. Retrieved
July 30, 2014, from JCU Workplace Educators Resource Package:
http://www.jcu.edu.au/wiledpack/modules/fsl/JCU_090344.html
McEnroe, A. M. (n.d.). Confucius's Educational Theory. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from
http://www.newfoundations.com/GALLERY/Confucius.html
Rollins, S. (n.d.). Social Learning Theory of Bandura. Retrieved from eHow.com:
http://www.ehow.com/about_5435919_social-learning-theory-bandura.html
Social Development Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2014, from Learning-Theories.com:
http://www.learning-theories.com/vygotskys-social-learning-theory
Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura). (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2014, from Instructional Design:
http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/social-learning.html
Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2014, from Encyclopedia of
Educational Technology: http://www.etc.edu.cn/eet/articles/vygotsky_zpd/index.htm
Wikipedia contributors. (n.d.). David A. Kolb. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Wikipedia, The Free
Encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_A._Kolb&oldid=605211702
Wikipedia contributors. (n.d.). Learning theory (education). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Wikipedia, The
Free Encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Learning_theory_