David Kolb’s theory of learning styles is one of the best known and widely applied and it suggest that learning is a cyclic process which involves an individual proceeding through each of the following four stages and will eventually prefer and rely upon one style more than the others. The four styles are: Divergers, Convergers, Accommodators and Assimilators. Research has shown that these four styles have different names along with the ones mentioned above, they are:
Divergers is also called Reflective observation
Convergers is also called Active experimentation
Accommodators is also called Concrete experience
Assimilators is also called Abstract conceptualization
Let us take a look and see how the knowledge of each one can be applied to the role of being students working individually and as a group.
Divergers/Reflective observation – Divergers like to think before they talk and they research and analyze a situation before giving their own personal opinion. They like to investigate and are able to view situations from many angles which allows them to recognize problems.
A lot of times a Diverger would rather sit back, listen and watch, be imaginative and open to xperience, being very thoughtful of everyone’s ideas. Convergers/Active experimentation – Convergers think about things, use theories to solve problems and then try out their ideas to see if they work in practice. They like to ask ‘how’ about a situation, understanding how things work in practice. They like facts and will seek to make things efficient by making small and careful changes and look at alternative ways of doing something. They prefer to work by themselves, thinking carefully and acting independently.
They learn through interaction and computer-based learning is more effective with them than other methods. Accommodators/Concrete experience – Accommodators prefer to be involved in new experiences, have a hands-on approach and learn through trial and error. They like a practical experimental approach, are able to adapt to circumstances and like to set objectives and schedules. Assimilators/Abstract conceptualization – Assimilators want to be more logical, they really see no need to give their own personal views, they would rather think it through and do research.
They will also learn through conversation that takes a logical and thoughtful approach. They prefer lectures for learning, with demonstrations where possible, will respect the knowledge of experts. In addition they often have a strong control need and prefer the clean and simple predictability of internal models to external messiness. This style is used in schools most of the time along with corporations. After researching these four different styles I was able to compare them to four different individual experiences.
One of my friends likes the assimilator approach for her school work, she likes to know the facts before she does anything. She is also going to share the knowledge she has gained from this assignment with her cousin who falls into the category of a Converger and tends to fail with her experiments. Another one of my friends believes that she is a Diverger, she would rather listen, gather data and analyze a situation and give feedback. She is very thoughtful of everyone’s ideas and puts their feelings and thoughts into consideration.
I also onsider myself a combination of the Accommodator and Converger, I learn best by the hands-on experience and looking at different ways of doing things. In conclusion, I feel that it is very beneficial for a person to know their style of learning for the following reasons: if you know this about yourself you are able to pinpoint your weaknesses so that you may work on them to help better your studying habits, you can apply your specific style to the task at hand whether it would be finding a book or article to read, a video to watch, a tape to listen to or solve it by trial and error.
You may also notice how others work differently and understand that individual more so that it will be a better work and study environment. Not only does this help when studying individually, it is a great benefit when participating in a group or team because when working in a group or team you have a combination of styles so the participants will have a different opinion of the topic depending on how they view the topic.
Along with different views of a topic, if you know your learning style you could share that with them and they may be able to make adjustments to accomodate you style of learning, especially if you are having problems grasping the topic, idea or concept. The importance of learning style stems from the notion that teaching, if it is to be effective, should be tailored to the preferred learning style of the learner(s). If teaching is not aligned to the learning preferences of learners, it is unlikely that the teaching will be effective, or at least not as effective as it could be.
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Kolb Learning Styles. (2017, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/kolb-learning-styles-essay