Derby Business School
Experiential Learning as a Development Tool
Student ID #: 100276485
November 29, 2012
The focus of this assignment is to critical outline the values of experiential learning as a staff development tool.
Everyone learns, but each person learns in a different way or style. Learning is the gaining of knowledge and skill. Experiential learning is the process of learning from an experience, a hands-on approach. Kolb (1984) defines experiential learning as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of the experience. The experience is the source of the learning and the development (Kolb 1984). “Process” is a key term because learning from only an experience or by lecture alone isn’t complete. Kolb (1984) has proposed a 4-stage experiential learning theory because the experience alone isn’t a complete tool for learning.. The 4 stages are concrete experience (feeling), reflective observation (watching), abstract conceptualization (thinking) and active experimentation (doing) (Loo 2002). There has to be a reflection period following the experience in order for the learner to take time and look back at the experience itself, as well as the feelings and emotions that were felt during the period of experience. This is a time for learners to gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses which were revealed by the experience. From this new knowledge, learners can work on their weaknesses. The learners will ask themselves what they could do better next time, and within this reflection period will be able to come up with a plan, one that next time can be applied to the experience. This deepened understanding of the experience will help the learner internalize what was learned. This time of