vrijdag 8 november 2013

Kolb’s Learning Styles… In The Intercultural Context

Concrete Experience  (feeling)

What we have: Lots of opportunities for concrete experience (homestays, diverse workgroups, service learning, etc.)

What’s missing: We seldom have structured opportunities for sharing participants’ reactions and feelings to the differences they have encountered, the stress they feel, the discoveries they have made.

We need to provide: Preplanned meetings, scheduled group discussion sessions, informal meals as premeditated occasions for concrete learners to enjoy their learning style, and for other learners to practice their CE skills.

Reflective Observation  (watching)

What we have: Lots of perplexed observations (“what did that mean?”), with a fair degree of difficulty in making connections, and not enough time to reflect.

What’s missing: We rarely provide guided reflective observation situations, and time.

We need to provide: Frameworks for learners to make connections, and the time to develop the reflections. This can include reflection questions for journal activity, planned time for absorption of complex new learning, etc.

Abstract Conceptualization  (thinking)

What we have: Lots of information on culture specific matters (history, politics, arts, etc.) and learners very accustomed to classroom lectures.

What’s missing: We seldom educate learners about their own   developmental processes including their own learning styles. Comprehension of certain culture general concepts and theories is also missing.

We need to provide: Abstract principles concerning culture shock, prejudice, racism, value differences, etc., as well as attention to the learning processes of the participants, and their capacity to learn-how-to-learn.

Active Experimentation  (doing)

What we have: A potential opportunity for AE learners to sample experience and create spontaneous learning projects, unfettered by classroom constraints.

What’s missing: Frequently, the basis for educational AE is missing, since it may not emerge from a healthy comprehension of AC. Experience needs the frameworks for construal to become educational.

We need to provide: A solid set of concepts for the AE learner to work from (information on ethnographic interviewing, participant observation, etc.) and a safe and supportive climate for the non-AE learners to try out these skills.

Janet M. Bennett, Ph.D., © 2011