There are essential characteristics of experiential learning to note based on the observations of the Lewinian Model of Action Research, Dewey’s Model of Learning, and Piaget’s Model of Cognitive Development. All of these models have similar characteristics that result in the following conclusions presented by Kolb (1984):
- Learning is a process, not a goal.
- Learning is continuous and based on experience.
- The learning process requires resolution of conflicts.
- Learning is a holistic process.
- Learning involves transactions between the person and environment.
- Learning is the process of creating knowledge.
Kolb (1984) had the conclusion that “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (p. 38). Kolb further points out that this succinct definition includes the process of
“adaptation and learning as opposed to content or outcomes…knowledge is a transformation process, being continuously created and recreated, not an independent entity to be acquired or transmitted…learning transforms experience in both its objective and subjective forms…we must understand the nature of knowledge to understand learning” (p. 38).
Adaptive Learning as a consultancy seeks to blend credible knowledge with practical experience in an open accredited environment motivated by the needs of both industry and individuals. This vision is based especially on experiential learning theory, although all of the mainstream adult learning theories are important contributions and should not be alienated.
Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.