The Importance of Experiential Learning

The Importance of the Experiential Learning in Call of the Wild’s Leadership Model and Leadership Development Training Courses

Training courses can be forgettable, but experiential learning development and leadership training courses have the power to inspire people not only to remember the learning but transfer it to the workplace and spread the word.

Innovative training courses or the same old thing again?

Classroom-based chalk and talk courses are two-a-penny with delegates being subjected to mediocre courses and uninspiring trainers. Faced with this onslaught, sitting in a classroom listening to a trainer our brains effectively turn off and go to sleep and expensive training courses quickly become forgotten.

This isn’t just conjecture. In our brains is something called the reticular activating system. Its job is to filter all the sensory stimuli coming in and decide what we should focus our attention on at any particular moment. It’s at the heart of the reason why experiential learning is such an effective medium as opposed to classroom learning.

Confucius said, ” I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

This is Call of the Wild’s philosophy to delivering behavioural change in the workplace through improving individuals performance. All our leadership courses and leadership training encompass this approach. It is a leadership model we use when appropriate with our leadership development and training courses.

Kolb Learning Styles adopted in our Leadership Model

David Kolb’s learning styles model and experiential learning theory

David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984. The model gave rise to related terms such as Kolb’s experiential learning theory , and Kolb’s learning styles inventory. Kolb’s learning styles model and experiential learning theory are today acknowledged by academics, teachers, managers and trainers as truly seminal works; fundamental concepts towards our understanding and explaining human learning behaviour, and towards helping others to learn.

Kolb’s learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles (or preferences), which are based on a four-stage learning cycle. (which might also be interpreted as a ‘training cycle’). In this respect Kolb’s model is particularly elegant, since it offers both a way to understand individual people’s different learning styles, and also an explanation of a cycle of experiential learning that applies to us all.

Kolb includes this ‘cycle of learning’ as a central principle his experiential learning theory, typically expressed as four-stage cycle of learning, in which ‘immediate or concrete experiences’ provide a basis for ‘observations and reflections’. These ‘observations and reflections’ are assimilated and distilled into ‘abstract concepts’ producing new implications for action which can be ‘actively tested’ in turn creating new experiences.

Kolb says that ideally (and by inference not always) this process represents a learning cycle or spiral where the learner ‘touches all the bases’, ie., a cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Immediate or concrete experiences lead to observations and reflections. These reflections are then assimilated (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.

The I do and I understand approach the individual’s learning is retained and transferred back to the workplace.