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ERIC Number: ED454418
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 76
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Experiential Learning: A Theoretical Critique from Five Perspectives. Information Series No. 385.
Fenwick, Tara J.
This monograph presents an overview of experiential learning from five perspectives. Following a history of experiential learning in 20th century adult education, the essay first offers a summary of the reflective constructivist view of experiential learning. The constructivist approach is taken by educators seeking to enhance the process of adult learners' reflections on experience, by instigating holistic experiences in instructional settings, by coaching and mentoring adults to enhance their learning in the midst of experience, and by assessing adults' experience. The essay compares these four additional theoretical orientations that have emerged in recent scholarly writing addressing experiential learning and cognition: (1) psychoanalytic perspectives that illuminate desires and resistance emanating from unconscious dimensions of experiential learning; (2) situative perspectives emphasize the connection between individuals and their communities of practice in a collective explanation of experiential learning; (3) critical cultural perspectives focus on how power and inequity structure experience and promote social transformation through experiential learning; and (4) enactivist perspectives uphold an ecological systems understanding of experiential learning co-emerging in systems of human action, organizations, cultures, and nature. For each of these five orientations to experiential learning, influential theories and models are presented, followed by a critique of the orientation from other perspectives. (The monograph contains 151 references.) (KC)
Publications, Center on Education and Training for Employment, 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090. Tel: 800-848-4815, ext. 24277 (Toll Free); Fax: 614-292-1260, Web site: (Order No. IN 385: $9.75). For full text:
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.