Peter Jarvis on (experiential) learning;
Jarvis (1987, 1995) set out to show that there are a number of responses to the potential learning situation. He used Kolb's model with a number of different adult groups and asked them to explore it based on their own experience of learning. He was then able to develop a model of which allowed different routes. Some of these are non-learning, some non-reflective learning, and some reflective learning. To see these we need to trace out the trajectories on the diagram he produces.
Jarvis' Experiential Learning Cycle
Presumption (boxes 1-4). This is where people interact through patterned behaviour. Saying hello etc.
Non-consideration (1-4). Here the person does not respond to a potential learning situation.
Rejection (boxes 1-3 to 7 to 9).
Pre-conscious (boxes 1-3 to 6 to either 4 or 9). This form occurs to every person as a result of having experiences in daily living that are not really thought about. Skimming across the surface.
Practice (boxes 1-3 to 5 to 8 to 6 to either 4 or 9). Traditionally this has been restricted to things like training for a manual occupation or acquiring particular physical skills. It may also refer to the acquisition of language itself.
Memorization (boxes 1-3 to 6 and possibly 8 to 6 and then either to 4 or 9)
Contemplation (boxes 1-3 to 7 to 8 to 6 to 9). Here the person considers it and makes an intellectual decision about it.
Reflective practice (boxes 1-3 (to 5) to 7 to 5 to 6 to 9). This is close to what Schön describes as relfection on and in action.
Experiential learning (boxes 1-3 to 7 to 5 to 7 to 8 to 6 to 9). The way in which pragmatic knowledge may be learned.
While this represents a useful addition to our thinking about learning, a number of problems remain. There is still an issue around sequence - many things may be happening at once, but Jarvis' model falls into trap of stage thinking. As with Kolb's work there is a limited experimental base to support it. We can also ask questions as to whether these are different forms or routes - or can they grouped together in a different and more compact way.
- Michael Cardus serves as an Adventure Consultant for Create-Learning Team Building. Mike facilitates, trains, and speaks to groups in a variety of settings including Fortune 500 Companies, small business, universities and classrooms. Currently he lives in Buffalo NY, he travels to serve your groups needs - where and when your group desires.