Our Great Teacher Confucius has this wise saying for us, "What I hear I tend to forget, what I see, I remember, what I do, I understand." Isn’t it true that we forget more than half the things we learned at training workshops and training seminars less than a week into our real lives in the real world?
To fully benefit from any learning experiences it is vital that we have the different components. It is in the doing that we appreciates the wisdom behind the concepts, although light bulb moments often occur as we are in reflection mode.
David A Kolb introduced his 4 learning stages in experiential learning theory that gave further insight into how adult learns. I find it intriguing that we go through different phases in the learning process. If I were to enhance the learning experience for my audience in my training workshops and seminars, I would want to cover as many of these stages as possible for a fuller, richer experience of learning.
Kolb’s model therefore works on a four-stage cycle: br />
1. Concrete Experience
2. Reflective Observation
3. Abstract Conceptualization
4. Active Experimentation br />
So let’s open up to learning, let’s get into discussion, journaling, implementing and experiencing and modeling. And the next time you see Action Items or Field Work from my training seminars or workshops, do go ahead and spend time in completing these as they will enhance yoru overall learning experience. To your learning experience!
This represents a spiral from Experiencing -> Reflecting -> Thinking -> Acting. Experience lead to observations and reflections (absorbed and translated) into abstract concepts with implications for action, which the person can actively test and experiment with, which in turn enable the creation of new experiences.
Thus, for any effective learning to take place, I want to incorporate as many of these components in our curriculum as possible. This is particularly so if I want to cater to the different learning styles of the individual learners as some learn better through observation while others learn by actual hands on doing of the concepts discussed.
Without going into lengthy scholarly and academic discussion of the adult learning theory, the application for me here is to ensure that any curriculum I design will cater to these components so my adult learners can have the fullest learning experience. I want to make room for the various faculties to take in the leaning process, absorbing and assimilating the learning into the cells of their being.
As the great Teacher, Confucius would also say ""By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by Reflection, which is noblest; Second, by Imitation, which is easiest; and third by Experience, which is the most bitter.
So whether you are reflecting or imitating or going through some fiery trials, know that life is teaching you precious lessons which if you do not resist but allow yourself to complete the cycle of learning, you will come out wiser and stronger and on a different plane of learning altogether.