Assimilating and accommodating

It is the process of gaining knowledge from experience and applying it to education, work, and development.It occurs when the learner directly experiences the realities of the theory, concept, or fact that they are learning.

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People with this learning style have the ability to learn from primarily “hands-on” experience.

They enjoy carrying out plans and involving themselves in new and challenging experiences.

Kolb (1984) describes experiential learning as a four stage cycle involving four adaptive learning modes: concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC), and active experimentation (AE) (p. Kolb Learning Style Inventory Kolb’s learning style inventory (LSI) is a self-description test based on his experiential learning theory that determines a learner’s strengths and weaknesses into one of four learning style categories: converging, diverging, accommodating, or assimilating (Kolb & Kolb, 2005). After a 17 year process of exploring the implications of the experiential learning theory and experimenting with techniques of learning from experience, Kolb published his theory in his 1984 book Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development.

Kolb’s (1984) book provides a systematic statement of the theory of experiential learning and how it applies to work, education, and adult development (p. Kolb asserts the principle that a person learns through his or her discovery and experience.

The preferred learning stage determines a learner’s learning style defined in Kolb’s LSI.

Kolb’s theory draws on the origins of experiential learning from the works of the prominent 20th century scholars Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget (Kolb 1984), and develops a holistic model of the experiential learning process and a multi-linear model of adult development (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).

Kolb and Kolb (2005) explain that hereditary make-up, unique life experiences and the demands of our present environment, all contribute to developing a preferred learning mode (p. They also indicate that we resolve the conflict between being concrete or abstract and between being active or reflective in four patterned, characteristic ways: diverging, assimilating, converging, or accommodating (p. These four patterns are the defined learning styles in Kolb’s LSI.

Kolb and Kolb (2005) created the LSI to fulfill two purposes: The Kolb Learning Style Inventory identifies four learning styles that are associated with the four patterned characteristic approaches to learning: diverging, assimilating, converging, and accommodating.

The Kolb ELT model (1984) outlines the following four adaptive approaches to learning: concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC), and active experimentation (AE).

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