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Rethinking Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning in Management Education

Rethinking Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning in Management Education This article seeks to critically evaluate Kolb's theory of experiential learning from social constructionist and activity theory perspectives. It is suggested that while experiential learning theory has been extremely influential and useful in management education it is rarely seen as problematic. The article goes on to argue that Kolb's experiential learning theory can be placed within the cognitive psychological tradition; a tradition that overlooks or mechanically explains the social, historical and cultural aspects of self, thinking and action. Activity theory is then described (but also drawing on more recent social constructionist perspectives) and offered as an alternative way of understanding these three aspects. Using this approach, experiential learning theory is reconceptualized with particular reference to the learning cycle and managerial identity. It is concluded that learning can be viewed as an argumentative and rhetorical process in which the manager acts as a practical author. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Learning: The Journal for Managerial and Organizational Learning SAGE

Rethinking Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning in Management Education

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References (7)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1350-5076
eISSN
1461-7307
DOI
10.1177/1350507697282003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article seeks to critically evaluate Kolb's theory of experiential learning from social constructionist and activity theory perspectives. It is suggested that while experiential learning theory has been extremely influential and useful in management education it is rarely seen as problematic. The article goes on to argue that Kolb's experiential learning theory can be placed within the cognitive psychological tradition; a tradition that overlooks or mechanically explains the social, historical and cultural aspects of self, thinking and action. Activity theory is then described (but also drawing on more recent social constructionist perspectives) and offered as an alternative way of understanding these three aspects. Using this approach, experiential learning theory is reconceptualized with particular reference to the learning cycle and managerial identity. It is concluded that learning can be viewed as an argumentative and rhetorical process in which the manager acts as a practical author.

Journal

Management Learning: The Journal for Managerial and Organizational LearningSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 1997

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