“…Since the publication of his seminal book, Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development (Kolb 1984) [1], American organizational psychologist David Kolbs ideas have influenced the work of teachers and trainers in Higher Education (Healey, M., Jenkins, A. 2000) [2]. Kolb (1984) defines learning as the process where knowledge is created through transformation of experience. In essence, learning is not so much the acquisition or transmission of content, as it represents the interaction between content and experience, where each transforms the other. In this context, the teacher has not only to transmit new ideas but also to modify old ideas that may get in the way of new ones. According to Kolb, learning is conceived as a four-stage cycle representing the way individuals perceive, think, feel, and act when faced with new experiences. The four stages of this experiential learning cycle encompass actual experiencing, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation (Tulbure 2012) [3].

The literature suggests that experiential learning is an essential part of formal education in colleges and universities, but there is a debate among scholars and educators about its efficacy (Webb, 2001) [4] cited in Chavan (2011) [5]. However, experiential learning theory has emerged as the preferred methodology within adult education and in a slightly more practical form, is the most influential model in the further education sector (Hyland 2006) [6]. Cantor (1995) [7] claims that faculty are concerned with optimizing the chances for their students to more easily enter their chosen professions or meet their desired goals upon graduation from the college due to decreasing job markets and increasing competition among college graduates. Seibert (1989) [8] and Baker (1991) [9] cited in Cantor (1995) have also documented the benefits of experiential learning for student career decision making.

In Experiential Learning the concept of experience has also an ideological function: faith in an individuals innate capacity to grow and learn. This is what makes experiential learning particularly attractive for adult education theorists and for the idea of lifelong learning.

The humanistic connection is also epistemologically significant, since it strengthens the methodological individualism of experiential learning. (Miettinen 2000) [10]… ” *

 

  1. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
  2. Healey, M., Jenkins, A. (2000). Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and Its Application in Geography in Higher Education. Journal of Geography 99(5), pp.185-195.
  3. Tulbure, C. (2012). Investigating the relationships between teaching strategies and learning styles in Higher Education. Acta Didactica Napocensia 5(1), pp. 65-74.
  4. Webb, M., (2001). A definitive critique of experiential learning theory. (Case Western Reserve University, USA).
  5. Chavan, M. (2011). Higher Education Students Attitudes Towards Experiential Learning in International Business. Journal of Teaching in International business (22), pp. 126-143.
  6. Hyland, T. (2006). Experiential learning, competence and critical practice in higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 19(3), pp. 327-339.
  7. Cantor, J. (1995). Experiential Learning in Higher Education: Linking Classroom and Community. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No.7
  8. Seibert, J, Davenport- Sypher, B. (1989). The Importance of Internship Experiences to Undergraduate Communication Students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Francisco. ED 315826, pp.25
  9. Baker-Loges, S., Duckworth, C. (1991). Collegiate Cooperative Education: An Old Concept for Modern Education. Journal of Studies in Technical Careers, 13(3), pp. 253-260.
  10. Miettinen, R. (2000). The concept of experiential learning and John Dewey’s theory of reflective thought and action. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 19 (1), pp. 54-72.

 

*In: Galatsopoulou, F., Kenterelidou, C. (2014) “FOSTERING CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION IN AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING COURSE FOR TRAVEL JOURNALISM AND COMMUNICATION”, Proceedings of EDULEARN14 International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies 7th -9th July 2014, Barcelona, Spain, ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3: