Kolb’s Learning Cycle


Kolb’s approach synthesizes goal-directed and behavior learning theories to create a learning cycle which values process and the ongoing nature of learning. Kolb’s model highlights the importance of the reflection component in the learning cycle.

  • Concrete Experience - a new experience or situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience.
  • Reflective Observation of the New Experience - of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding.
  • Abstract Conceptualization reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept (the person has learned from their experience).
  • Active Experimentation - the learner applies their idea(s) to the world around them to see what happens.