David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory.

Kolb's experiential learning theory works on two levels: a four stage cycle of learning and four separate learning styles. Much of Kolb’s theory is concerned with the learner’s internal cognitive processes.

Kolb states that learning involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations. In Kolb’s theory, the impetus for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences.

“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38).

  1. Concrete Experience - a new experience of situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience
  2. Reflective Observation - of the new experience. Of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding.
  3. Abstract Conceptualization - (Reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept.
  4. Active Experimentation - the learner applies them to the world around them to see what results.