kolb learning styles definitions and descriptions
Knowing a person’s (and your own) learning style enables learning to be orientated according to the preferred method. That said, everyone responds to and needs the stimulus of all types of learning styles to one extent or another – it’s a matter of using emphasis that fits best with the given situation and a person’s learning style preferences.
Here are brief descriptions of the four Kolb learning styles:
- Diverging (feeling and watching – CE/RO) – These people are able to look at things from different perspectives. They are sensitive. They prefer to watch rather than do, tending to gather information and use imagination to solve problems. They are best at viewing concrete situations several different viewpoints. Kolb called this style ‘Diverging’ because these people perform better in situations that require ideas-generation, for example, brainstorming. People with a Diverging learning style have broad cultural interests and like to gather information. They are interested in people, tend to be imaginative and emotional, and tend to be strong in the arts. People with the Diverging style prefer to work in groups, to listen with an open mind and to receive personal feedback.
- Assimilating (watching and thinking – AC/RO) – The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. Ideas and concepts are more important than people. These people require good clear explanation rather than practical opportunity. They excel at understanding wide-ranging information and organising it a clear logical format. People with an Assimilating learning style are less focused on people and more interested in ideas and abstract concepts. People with this style are more attracted to logically sound theories than approaches based on practical value. These learning style people is important for effectiveness in information and science careers. In formal learning situations, people with this style prefer readings, lectures, exploring analytical models, and having time to think things through.
- Converging (doing and thinking – AC/AE) – People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues. They prefer technical tasks, and are less concerned with people and interpersonal aspects. People with a Converging learning style are best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories. They can solve problems and make decisions by finding solutions to questions and problems. People with a Converging learning style are more attracted to technical tasks and problems than social or interpersonal issues. A Converging learning style enables specialist and technology abilities. People with a Converging style like to experiment with new ideas, to simulate, and to work with practical applications.
- Accommodating (doing and feeling – CE/AE) – The Accommodating learning style is ‘hands-on’, and relies on intuition rather than logic. These people use other people’s analysis, and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach. They are attracted to new challenges and experiences, and to carrying out plans. They commonly act on ‘gut’ instinct rather than logical analysis. People with an Accommodating learning style will tend to rely on others for information than carry out their own analysis. This learning style is prevalent and useful in roles requiring action and initiative. People with an Accommodating learning style prefer to work in teams to complete tasks. They set targets and actively work in the field trying different ways to achieve an objective.
As with any behavioural model, this is a guide not a strict set of rules.
Nevertheless most people clearly exhibit clear strong preferences for a given learning style. The ability to use or ‘switch between’ different styles is not one that we should assume comes easily or naturally to many people.
Simply, people who have a clear learning style preference, for whatever reason, will tend to learn more effectively if learning is orientated according to their preference.
For instance – people who prefer the ‘Assimilating’ learning style will not be comfortable being thrown in at the deep end without notes and instructions.
People who like prefer to use an ‘Accommodating’ learning style are likely to become frustrated if they are forced to read lots of instructions and rules, and are unable to get hands on experience as soon as possible.
Information taken from: http://www.businessballs.com/kolblearningstyles.htm
Which learning style describes you best?