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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Approaches to Learning Essay

There are various ways which people can learn. There is a need to identify approaches that can assess learning effectively. David Kolb proposed a four stage learning process with a cycle of learning. (Gravells, A. 2008). The process is represented in the diagram below:

Concrete experience This is process where the learner experiences or immerses themselves in the task. It is the first stage where the task assigned is carried out. It is also called the doing stage. In my specialism, this could be the time where I give my learner class assignment or test to do in the class. (Gravells, A. 2008). It is good way of assessing learning and getting feedback immediately.

Observation and Reflection This involves stepping back from the activity and reviewing what has been done and experienced. Here the learner’s values, attitudes and beliefs can affect their thinking process. This is the process where the learner thinks about what they you have done. The learner has the opportunity to reflect on what has been done in the classroom through the home work given.

Abstract conceptualisation This is where the learner tries to interpret and understand the activities that have been carried out during learning. This is the planning how you will do it differently stage. The learner has the opportunity to do this as I lecture a particular topic in mathematics.

Active Experimentation It enables the learner to take in new learning and predict what is likely to happen next or what future actions can be taken to improve the way activities can be done in future. This is the redoing stage based upon experience and reflection. When feedback on Tests or home work is given, the learner has the opportunity to improve upon what has already been submitted.

Learning styles A learning style is a learner’s consistent way of responding and using stimuli in the context of learning.

Honey and Mumford’s learning style questionnaire is another theory used to demonstrate how a learner is able to learn effectively. Questionnaires were given to the learner’s that probes general behavioural tendencies.

Although their theory is drawn from David Kolb, it had some differences. Learners were divided into Reflectors, Theorists, Pragmatist and Activist.

Reflector The learner prefers to learn from activities they watch, think and review what has happened. They like to use journals and brainstorming. http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/styles/honey_mumford.html [accessed on 3 July 2012.]. To be able to ensure learning takes place for this kind of learner, as a Teacher I would organise more group work, discussions and lecturing in mathematics sessions. Also give out hand outs for learner to read and reflect upon.

Theorists Learners in this category prefer to think a problem through step by step manner. They like lectures, analogies, systems, case studies, models and reading. I would organise more lectures on a topic, give handouts and assignments for such learners giving them the opportunity to tackle problems/ questions later on.

Pragmatist The learners prefer to apply new learning to actual practice to see if they work. They prefer field works, laboratories, observations, feedback and coaching.  Here learning can effectively take place where a lot of examples on topics are tried out with learner before giving out home work or assignments. A lot of clear feedback on assignments/ tasks and activities will be needed to ensure the learners actually understand information passed across.


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