Today, issues on learning are becoming more pressing due to recent economic depression resulting from the disintegration of the market. As a result, job opportunities market has decreased with increased in the competition of more college graduates as they enter the market. Additionally, non-traditional learners being produced by the current economic and job market are now in seek of college degrees and in demand of diverse and appealing classes' experiences. In reply to this stipulate, colleges are often times shifting their emphasis due to budgetary precedence to enrollment, preservation and achievement rates of the student. Due to this, most college faculty are acknowledging the need for giving more opportunities for experiential learning in their studies and making learning to be solid and pertinent to learners. As a result, more studies are emerging in colleges that are including many disciplines.
Are there chances of students moving easily into their chosen professions or in meeting their preferred goals when graduating in the business school curriculum?
ELT draws its works in Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget's experiential works. Kolb's article (2005) quote Lewin's work saying "There is nothing as practical as a good theory" (p. 193). Also, it quotes Dewey's statement that "There is a need of forming a theory of experience in order that education may be intelligently conducted upon the basis of experience" (p.193). ELT has been shown to be more holistic than behavioral or cognitive learning theories. According to McCarthy (2010), cognitive theory gives emphasis on cognition over affect while behavioral learning theory allows not any responsibility for consciousness and biased experience in the process of learning. Unlike cognitive and behavioral learning theories, ELT merges experience, perception, cognition, and behavior with experience being the central role in the process of ELT. Studies carried out by Kolb (2005) indicated that styles are influenced by the type of personality, specialization of education, choice of career, role, and tasks of the current job and influences from the culture. According to ELT, learning is the process where knowledge is produced via experience transformation and comes when grasping and transforming experience is combined (Kumar & Bhandarker, 2017). For effective learning to transpire, ELT follows a four cyclical process of the learning experience. "Concrete experience (CE) and abstract conceptualization (AC) depicts two polar opposite dimensions of transforming grasping experience while reflective observation (RO) and active experimentation (AE) depicts two polar opposite dimensions of transforming the experience (Kolb, 2005). ELT constructs knowledge by creating tension among the four capabilities of learning. In each specific learning situation, the student must incessantly decide which capability of learning to use. In the experience of grasping, the student takes in new info by undergoing via concrete, tangible; the world felt qualities, depending on their sanity and immersing themselves in concrete realism. The opposite can also happen where the learner can experience theoretical conceptualization. This style of learning inclination tend to get into perceiving, grasping, or in taking hold of new information via figurative depiction, analysis or in systematic planning. In the practice of transforming, the reflective observation capability tends to scrutinize those in the experience by reflecting on what takes place while the active experimentation phase favors jumping in and beginning doing things. Significantly, the student can join the theory at any phase. Moon (2013) highlighted four learning styles which are each connected with distinct ways of solving problems. One of them is divergers and it sees situations in different ways and depends greatly upon brain-storming and ideas invention. Assimilators utilize inductive reckoning having the capability of creating theoretical models. Convergers depend deeply on hypothetical-deductive logic while accommodators take in strategies and experiments and adapting them to instant circumstances.
Theoretical Approach to Critical Analysis
In studying experiential learning theory, various critical analyses has aroused from questioning on which the premise was based on questioning its generalizability and effectiveness. Stumpf and Freedman queried the experiential evidence when they asserted that "empirical evidence supporting learning style theory and the Learning Style Inventory (LSI) has come from a single piece of unpublished research" (2011). They both questioned the utility and reliability of LSI and the ranking format of forced-choice of the LSI. This was the same way Kolb (2005) rebutted it in his review article of Academy of Management although he forfeited the warning against gratuitous usage of psychosomatic tests with volunteers. Furthermore, Stumpf and Freedman (2011) went ahead to highlight some questions not answered called Generalizability of LSI as any ELT, and the stumpy worth of co-association coefficients which were used in supporting the researh. On the other hand, the LSI criticism and work of Kolb were outlined by McCarthy (2010) when he proposed the movement forward in a fluid manner referring to both criticism levels; experiential and theoretical analysis. Also, he claimed that there has been an effective reply to several critics and he later gave an outline of its implications and limitations for education organization and how best it can be moved frontward.
Application and Discussion
The work of Kolb is wide and its flexibility enables its practice in distinct environment particularly in a circumstance where the process is evenly significant as a product. ELT has been applied as a process model in several streams and training coursework. Significantly, the application is not only limited to business domains, but also in different fields including Accounts and Medicine. ELT can be applied in a meta-model for exploration of a career (Kumar & Bhandarker, 2017). Also, it can be used in understanding and describing the counseling and supervision process. Some studies have shown that ELT can be used in designing effective courses of counseling while others have shown that ELT is used in structuring and guiding small group training and clinical supervision encounters. Some researchers have used the fundamentals of ELT in exploring pedagogical probabilities in business education while others have applied the theory in developing a systematic and contingency-based approach in education management. Mainemelis and Boyatzis (2012) utilized the theory in explaining the basics of how the markets function and tactical insights of keeping oneself significant.
According to Kolb Kumar and Bhandarker (2017), students have instant solid experiences enabling them in reflecting on new experiences from distinct perception. Thus, the learner is able to employ 'abstract conceptualization' to create simplifications or values integrating their annotations into sound theories. Also, such generalizations can be used as channel in furthering learner's action. As a result, the experimentation enables the learner in testing what have been taught in other and more intricate circumstance. Mostly, the consequence is usually another practice that is concrete and more multifaceted subconsciously. The appliance of this theory proposes that a higher level of achievement is likely to occur when a student is in a circumstance that is synchronized with their style of learning. This implies that if a faculty member can evaluate specifically style of learning of the student, he/she could probably choose the teaching methods and the evaluation of the outcome of learning of learners in a class that reflects those styles more closely. Surveyors have not yet agreed that those styles of learning can be calculated dependably using instruments like Inventory Price of Learning Style, Type Indicators of Myers-Briggs or Inventor Learning Preferences (Moon, 2013). Despite the fact that Inventory Style of Learning of Kolb has been proven to be reliable psychometrically, less evidence has been found that matches the styles of learning with learning methods that improve outcomes of learning.
Experiential Learning shows various difficulties and hurdles for faculty in business since it is grounded on the active word of premise of 'doing' and not the submissive phrase of 'being done'. Significantly, learners in this field are expected to practice skills taught in the classroom so as to transmit the knowledge to their professional careers. Thus, education becomes empirical when it entails the essential components of expression, transmit, and sustain for the learners. Most teaching faculty of business subjects are usually not aware of this significant learning progression as majority business courses in institutions are trained at primary level using teachers whose role is that of the master of ceremonies. However, this doesn't mean that teachers should be removed from classes, but rather they should be modified. It is significant for them to put emphasis on principle, concepts, and theory as well as causes and effects on the business field while using realistic or examples of the real world. As a result, teachers would have a broad appeal and message for their learners especially for those who use thinker-watchers or reason for the aim of theory-construction and convergers' thinker-doers' or even those who favor industrial tasks and practical tasks (Kolb, 2005). Another problem that should be overcome by the business faculty is when teaching business subjects since many theories or notions application may not be relevant to the recent business circumstances. To solve this, the faculty should make it a requirement that learners should bring recent connected news editorials from journals or magazines and issue the information in a one-page executive synopsis. This would be significant since it will not only appeal to the convergers, but it will be a way of ensuring the information is appealing to the assimilators 'feeler-doers or those that have a preference on hands-on experience. Also, it will be of use to non-participants students or divergers 'feeler-watchers' (Kolb, Boyatzis & Mainemelis, 2009). The students will be able to enjoy things that are fostering a broad range of ideas emerging in a discussion or in a brainstorming session. Additionally, the business faculty should incorporate the responsibility of the facilitator so as to deal with various styles of learning in classes with questions that are confrontational and inquisitive while providing a secure and contented environment.
The lucrative idea is another reason that applies to this learning theory when in the class. A research carried out by Moon (2013), showed that there is a strong relationship between designed instruction of Kolb and students of community college in preference for courses like teleconferencing. This was approved by another study that found similar results when using LSI-II of Kolb with adult students. The study showed that learners that were using their feelings to study, preferred discussions, and debate while those that learned through watching preferred videos in learning and listening to teachers. Nonetheless, there are students that preferred problem-solving techniques and simulations especially those that were comfortable learning through analyzing or reasoning. In business faculty, this is important since most of them prefer styles of teaching which may not coincide with styles of learning of their learners. Therefore, this is an indication that only a quarter of the students are taught effectively throughout the semester by the faculty members.
The implication of this theory...
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