Experiential Learning Experience as the Source of Learning and Development

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/12/2014
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press
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Experiential learning is a powerful and proven approach to teaching and learning that is based on one incontrovertible reality: people learn best through experience. Now, in this extensively updated book, David A. Kolb offers a systematic and up-to-date statement of the theory of experiential learning and its modern applications to education, work, and adult development.


Experiential Learning, Second Edition builds on the intellectual origins of experiential learning as defined by figures such as John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, Jean Piaget, and L.S. Vygotsky, while also reflecting three full decades of research and practice since the classic first edition.


Kolb models the underlying structures of the learning process based on the latest insights in psychology, philosophy, and physiology. Building on his comprehensive structural model, he offers an exceptionally useful typology of individual learning styles and corresponding structures of knowledge in different academic disciplines and careers. Kolb also applies experiential learning to higher education and lifelong learning, especially with regard to adult education.


This edition reviews recent applications and uses of experiential learning, updates Kolb's framework to address the current organizational and educational landscape, and features current examples of experiential learning both in the field and in the classroom. It will be an indispensable resource for everyone who wants to promote more effective learning: in higher education, training, organizational development, lifelong learning environments, and online.

Author Biography

DAVID KOLB (Cleveland, OH) is Chairman of Experience Based Learning Systems (EBLS), an organization he founded in 1980 to advance research and practice on experiential learning. EBLS has developed many experiential exercises and self-assessment instruments, including the latest Kolb Learning Style Inventory 4.0. Kolb received his BA in psychology, philosophy and religion at Knox College, and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University. He was professor of organizational behavior and management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Organizational Behavior. Kolb currently serves on the editorial review board of Simulation and Gaming, and is its experiential learning section editor. He has received four honorary degrees for his contributions to experiential learning.

Table of Contents



Part I: Experience and Learning

1. The Foundations of Contemporary Approaches to Experiential Learning

2. The Process of Experiential Learning

Part II: The Structure of Learning and Knowledge

3. Structural Foundations of the Learning Process

4. Individuality in Learning and the Concept of Learning Styles

5. The Structure of Knowledge

Part III: Learning and Development

6. The Experiential Learning Theory of Development

7. Learning and Development in Higher Education

8. Lifelong Learning and Integrative Development


The definitive model and guide to experiential learning, now thoroughly updated to reflect the latest research and applications.

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