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Kolb's learning cycle


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A theory developed by psychologist, David Kolb, that describes how four stages influence the way that people learn. (a) Concrete experience: being involved in the world. (b) Observation and reflection: thinking about these experiences. (c) Abstract conceptualization: drawing conclusions from these experiences and making generalizations—thereby constructing new theories, or building on existing theories. (d) Active experimentation: testing these theories, especially by using them to solve problems and guide future action. A person can start at any stage of the cycle, but successful learning is accomplished only when the full cycle is completed. The theory also recognizes that people have strengths or learning preferences that mean they are comfortable at some of the stages, but not at others. This therefore can inhibit progress through the full cycle.

(a) Concrete experience: being involved in the world. (b) Observation and reflection: thinking about these experiences. (c) Abstract conceptualization: drawing conclusions from these experiences and making generalizations—thereby constructing new theories, or building on existing theories. (d) Active experimentation: testing these theories, especially by using them to solve problems and guide future action.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.


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