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Kelb developed afour-stage learning process to explain the nature of experimentallearning among individuals. In this regard, it is important for thelearner to be aware of each stage and ways through which the desiredresults can be achieved in the long run. The four cycles indicate theprocess through which leaner touches all the bases with regards tothe learning concept (McLeod, 2013). This paper will focus on two ofthe stages in the experimental cycle as proposed by Kelb. The firstpart will concentrate on reflective observations through theidentification of three learning concepts whereas the second partwill venture into the solid experience phase by describing the adultexperience.

Concrete Experience

This is one ofthe stages of the experimental learning process. It is at thisjuncture that one undergoes a new experience or a reinterpretation ofan existing experience. From Kelb’s analysis, the learning conceptsdepended on the four-stage learning cycle and therefore, it wasimportant to establish ways which each concept could be integratedinto the study. From a personal experience, I identified variousfactors that influenced my preferred style of learning. They includedenvironmental conditions, education experience and the cognitivestructure of an individual (McLeod, 2013).

For me, thissection, which falls on the processing continuum, presented anopportunity to feel and watch the environment and other factorsaround me. It was at this level that I learned how to look at thingsfrom a different perspective. At this phase, I became sensitive andas such developed an insight to watch the occurrences rather thanactively engage in the action. Having undergone such an experience,the concept of gathering information and using my imagination tosolve the underlying issues proved to have one of the greatestinsights to me. The ability to use imaginations based on the gatheredinformation gave me an insight into the process of viewing theexisting situations from several points of view (McLeod, 2013).

According toKelb, this stage was important in the development as it enabled oneto utilize the concept of brainstorming and developing numerousinsights into the happenings within a given environment. Suchindividuals were therefore significantly employed when it came tosituations that required creativity. I gained a broad culturalinterest due to my ability to gather information that would then beused in making the crucial decisions.The diverging stage as itis known improved my ability to interact with others in my quest togather the necessary information. The decision-making processutilized information of greater threshold to ensure consistency aswell as the authenticity of the decisions made in the long run(McLeod, 2013).

At this stage,one is expected to show greater interests in people. Additionally,individuals tend to be emotional and imaginative at the same time. Itrequires a person to be well conversant with the concept of art andutilize such knowledge in analyzing the underlying situation. Irealized the importance of working in groups and receiving personalfeedback. Moreover, this stage enabled me to have an open mind duringthe brainstorming session as this allowed a different point of viewto be incorporated in the decision-making process (McLeod, 2013).Additionally, I realized the importance of undergoing an experienceas the observation reflection phase of the learning process greatlyhinged on the experience stage. Therefore, the divergence periodprovided one with the feel and watched section of the learningexperience. Based on the above analysis, it can be concluded that thesolid experience phase of analysis relies on learning from otherpeople’s experiences and relating to such individuals (McLeod,2013).

Reflective Observation

Reflectiveobservation can be described as the stage of experimental learningwhereby one thinks and watches the unfolding events withoutnecessarily feeling the outcomes. This stage of the learning processfalls under the perception continuum axis. This level demands conciseand logical approach (McLeod, 2013). This phase of the cycle fallsbetween the concrete experience stage and the abstractconceptualization stage. It is at this juncture that an individualcan identify existing inconsistencies between knowledge andunderstanding and ways through which such levels of disparities canbe eliminated from the learning process. It is important to establishthat reliability, and authenticity is given utmost importance in thelearning experience phases (McLeod, 2013).

Reflectiveobservation is therefore founded on the need to review and reflect onthe experience that one has undergone within a particular period.Under this stage of the cycle, the ideas presented are given utmostimportance in comparison to people. This is because, when analyzingfactors based on logic, the ideas and facts are given focus as aresult of their levels of consistency (McLeod, 2013). People, on theother hand, can alter as time goes by thereby affecting the outcomesexpected in the long run. This stage requires clear and conciseexplanations of the happenings, unlike practical opportunities. Atthis juncture, therefore, one should be able to articulate clearlythe ideas and points that they have experienced and consequentlyreflect on them, the experimental learning process will achieve thedesired objectives (McLeod, 2013). For me, this stage provided theopportunity to understand wide-ranging information and thenorganizing it into logical concepts that would be used to provide areflective analysis of the learning process.

Additionally,this process enabled me to understand the importance of proceduresand logic in the analysis of experiences. As such, little attentionwas provided to people since the ideas were considered to be thebasis of reason in the reflective observation phase of theexperimental learning the process. Therefore, the sound logicaltheories were given utmost importance at this stage of reflectiveobservation as it formed the basis of organization information fromvarious areas of logic (McLeod, 2013). Approaches based on practicallogic are greatly shunned at this level.

As a result ofthe focus on ideas rather than individuals, this concept is highlyapplicable in the science careers. This is because it entailsextensive readings, lecturers, as well as the analysis of thepractical models and then a further reflection of what has beenobserved over a particular period. Therefore, reflective observationfocuses on one’s ability to watch (McLeod, 2013). Such observationsshould be well in advance of any form of judgment is made. Theenvironment having been observed, the individual should view theenvironment and the similar experiences from various perspectives.Understanding the underlying theory and having a clear grasp of theconcept is an important step in the reflective observation stage.Therefore, this concept of experimental learning works by pullingdifferent thoughts and observations, into a single integrated unit.It is also at this juncture that models are created and theoriesdeveloped in the designing and development of projects.


McLeod, S. (2013). Kolb`s Learning Styles and ExperientialLearning Cycle | Simply Psychology. 28 March 2016, from