HOW TO USE THE MODEL OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IN TEACHING DISCIPLINES FROM THE FIELD OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES PUBLISHEDTulbure Cristina , Orboi Manuela Dora
The present study aims primarily at analyzing a learning model that can be successfully applied in higher education when teaching disciplines in the field of agricultural sciences. Secondly, the study has as a purpose the exemplification of modalities in which this model may be applied, mainly in seminar and laboratory activities belonging to higher education. Based on the decisive part of personal experience in the learning process, Kolb has elaborated one of the best known models of experiential learning. In building his theoretical model, Kolb starts from the assumption that learning is a continuous process in which the person’s knowledge and abilities are adjusted and developed according to the nature of experiences in which he or she is integrated. Thus, learning arises from living a personal experience, in which reflection and active experimentation combine. Based on these premises, the author proposes a cyclic model, according to which learning implies progressing through four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation. According to this model, the learning cycle begins when the person is engaged in a new concrete experience, which implies interaction with the environment. The following stage, namely reflection, is especially important, as it supposes the observation and the analysis of an existing experience, made from different perspectives. Reflection is considered to be crucial in learning, as it lies at the basis of understanding, which will be completely accomplished during the abstract conceptualisation stage. That is the point where the individual, through analysis and conceptualisation, succeeds in understanding the existing experience and, based on that, he or she is capable to own ideas and to successfully integrate this new knowledge on the context of previously acquired one. Accomplishment during this stage comes as a condition to progressing towards the final moment, that of active experimentation of new income, a moment where decisions are made with regard to ways of action and resolution modalities regarding concrete problems, by performing the transfer of knowledge. As it offers an explanation concerning the processuality of human learning, the model stands as a land mark for the practitioners of university education, towards designing instruction strategies to meet the students’ needs and preferences. In this respect, we think that in order to increase the efficiency of the learning process, within the instructional-educational context, professors may resort to the differentiation of instructional strategies according to the students’ learning styles, as a way to empower the students to learn by using the preferred modalities of perception and processing the information.
experiential learning, agricultural sciences, learning styles