Thesis on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

Experiential learning theory integrates the research on cognitive development and cognitive style. Kolb credits the work of Lewin in the I940’s and the sensitivity training of the 1950s and 1960s with his understanding of the importance of experience in the learning process. He conceives of learning as a four-stage cycle.

It is essentially an open system capable of using the information generated by each stage to self-correct when the cycle repeats. Reflective strategies leading to action are based on avoidance of error and on the reward for active accomplishment. Kolb states, “Thus, in the process of learning, one moves in varying degrees from actor to observer, from specific involvement to general detachment” in a continuous cycle.

This is a teleological approach using cost/benefit analysis to determine needed accommodations. Positive findings were reported for this model of instruction in the literature, but studies were primarily descriptive, not specifically tied to Kolb’s theory, and focused on the assumption of skills used in a professional role. Isolated data, from my perspective, has little meaning unless tied to theory.

This model was not designed specifically for moral development as were the Perry and Kohlberg models, and the validation and/or use of Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory is the focus of the experiential learning theory literature. An advantage of this model is that it allows for self-correcting behavior as one learns skills. It does not, however, offer a structure that balances the needs of the individual, the profession, the environment, and the patient concurrently.

The lack of inclusion of non-justice perspectives limits the appropriateness of Kohlberg’s theory as a model for ethics instruction among the health care professions. Without the ability to include alternative philosophical perspectives, Kohlberg’s work does focus on ”indoctrination.”

This could probably nicely accommodate professional interests but it lacks appropriateness to meet the pluralistic demands of clinical practice that must also be grounded in a recognition of environment-centered and patient-centered concerns.

Thesis on Social Learning Theory

The social learning theory has been the theoretical foundation for the majority of studies on sport socialization. To date, this perspective has been the most popular and most productive framework in both theory and empirical findings. In an effort to explain why people behave as they do, social learning theory emphasizes the prominent roles played by vicarious, symbolic, and self-regulatory processes in psychological functioning.

Human thought, affect, and behavior can be markedly influenced by observation, as well as by direct experience. Observational learning and modeling are vital for the social transmission process in which the language, lifestyles, and institutional practices of a culture are taught to new members. According to social learning theory, modeling influences produce learning principally through their informative function.

During exposure, observers acquire mainly symbolic representations of the modeled activities. The capacity to use symbols provides humans with a powerful means of interacting with their environment. Through verbal and imagined symbols people process and preserve experiences and representational forms that serve as guides for appropriate performance and future behavior.

In addition to the real models, such as parents and peers, the abundant and diverse symbolic modeling provided in television and other audio-visual displays is also an influential source of social learning. Social learning theory also emphasizes the prominent role of self-regulatory processes. People are not simple reactors to external influences. Individuals process and interpret the environment, and can exercise some influence over their own behavior.

Self-influence, therefore, partly determines which actions one performs. To be sure, the self-regulatory functions are created and occasionally supported by external influences. According to this theory, most behavior, including the learning of specific social roles, is acquired by observing the behavior of significant others, or role models, and regulated by reinforcement contingencies. One’s cultural background alone is “insufficient to explain the varied socialization outcomes that typically exist even in relatively homogeneous sub-cultures.

These differences occur because organizational prescriptions for conduct must be implemented by parents and other societal agents. For instance, “parents who, for whatever reason, do not subscribe to organizational sanction codes of behavior, and who themselves display deviant characteristics, generally produce children who are also deviant”. In most cases, the environment and personal determinants are only potential influences on behavior until actualized by appropriate actions.

Thus, behavior partly determines which of the many potential influences will come into play and what forms they will take; environmental influences, in turn, partly determine what types of behavior are developed and activated.

Societal And Individual Changes

Change takes place in societies and individuals in many different ways and there are so many theories that to pin down when change happens is practically impossible. Rules and techniques can also be examined in a psychological aspect keeping in view academic research and theory. This would help in developing a structure for the proper use and assessment of program assumptions including methods of implementation. People who advocate change assert that their programs will usher in change encourage participants to become leaders in their respective positions to bring in change. All participants are kept informed, and the changes in the system are virtually free of any risks or hazards. Continue reading “Societal And Individual Changes”

Types of Non-Verbal Communication

The exchange of ideas and thoughts is known as communication. One can communicate to other people by speaking, writing, and other mediums. It is easy to understand that the communication among human beings is mainly verbal and through language. However, if we further illustrate the mediums and means of communication, we will get to know that the communication is not only verbal. Non-verbal communication is a type of communication in which verbal language is not used. Continue reading “Types of Non-Verbal Communication”