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Dave A. Kolb was an American educational theorist who was working on experimental learning, on career development and on executive and professional education. Analyzing learning procedures, he created four stages which constitute the Kolb's Learning Cycle. (Helen G. Thalassis. (2008). Learning Styles. Available: http://www.academia.edu/344872/Learning_Styles1. [Accessed: 28th December 2012]). The first stage is called concrete experience. The learner prefers to learn through experiences rather than theories and emphasize the feeling more than thinking. The second stage is reflective observation and it's about look back at what he has done and emphasize reflection more than action. The next stage is called abstract conceptualization. Usage of logic, ideas and emphasize thinking more than feeling. The fourth and the last one stage is active experimentation which is when the learner prefers the practical application rather than reflective understanding. (Clara Davies. (2013). Kolb Learning Cycle Tutorial - Static Version. Available: http://www.ldu.leeds.ac.uk/ldu/sddu_multimedia/kolb/static_version.php [Accessed 03rd January 2013])
Kolb separated learning style to four categories according to the learner's abilities. The learning style is not stable. A learner is able to adopt a different style when it is appropriate in order to face the learning challenge. (Bradford VTS. (2012). Kolb's Learning theory, Optional Material of Greater Expectations, Smart Business Coaching Course, Session 4. Available: http://www.bradfordvts.co.uk/wp-content/onlineresources/0307teachinglearning/educationaltheory/kolbs%20cycle.pdf. [Accessed 27th December 2012]). The first kind of learner is called converger. According to Kolb a converger, is able to operate through inference experience and find solutions. It is about thinking (Abstract Conceptualization) and doing (Active Experimentation). As second kind of learner Kolb gives the diverger learner. A diverger learner is quick-witted, able to view situations from many slants and likes group work. It is about feeling (Concrete Experience) and watching (Reflective Observation). The third learning style is assimilator. An assimilator is good to create theoretical models. He/she likes meticulousness and accuracy and prefers theories to be logical. This style is about thinking (Abstract Conceptualization) and watching (Reflective Observation).(Helen G. Thalassis. (2008). Learning Styles. Available: http://www.academia.edu/344872/Learning_Styles1. [Accessed: 28th December 2012]). As final style we have the accommodator. Ready to seek opportunities and get involved in new experiences. Usually an accommodator is risky and acts like leader. It works with feeling (Concrete Experience) and doing (Active Experimentation). (Users On Net. (1998). Kolb's Four Dominant Learning Skills. Available: http://www.users.on.net/~brogers/stafftd/style2.htm [Accessed 04th January 2013])
Trying to analyse myself I observe that as a person I like the theoretical modelling in any aspect of my life. I prefer to assimilate observations into an structured outcome. I love to know what the experts think and when I think that the answer is wrong I try to find out the solution by applying well developed theories. Planning and order are two vital things of my character. I like to have control on anything and I manage this by planning. Planning is necessary as it is the way that I use to assign priorities. The same applies in learning. When I have to deal with any task, I establish my target, I plan how I can achieve it and I set objectives by assigning the priority of each of them. I then try to find out the theoretical background of the objectives that I set and through structured approach I try to come to a conclusion.
Taking the aforesaid into account and applying the Kolb's theory to myself I consider that I am an assimilator. Running through my past learning experiences I recall that at my last year in high-school my classmates and I were assigned a group project about the global warming. While the others were not paying the necessary attention to the tasks that we had to complete, I immediately settled my goal and decided the various objectives that I had to meet, I established a timeline for the completion of the various stages of my research and I tried to find the theoretical background on the topic. I spent generally too much time in researching about theories relevant to the global warning and I had difficulties in applying these to my project mostly in the way of actual implementation against to the settled timeline. In another example of my past learning experiences I bring in my mind an individual project that I was assigned to at my high school two years ago, about the educational development in my area. Once I was assigned with the project I prepared a timeline for the completion of it and I settled my target. Then I identified the objectives that I had to meet against this timeline and I started immediately my research in the field of the theories that are relevant with my task. What I can identify now is that I was lost in the theoretical research, spending too much time in this activity, something that created problem in implementing what I had planned to do. Basis on the above I realise that I have a lack in the field of the actual execution of my planned targets.
I could improve this by trying to enhance my implementation skills and on that way the active experimentation is the way to go forward.
In this paper I have proved that I am an assimilator by revealing the folds of my character and my past learning experiences that support this. However I have identified the weak point of mine in the field of "do's" as well. I have now to plan the way to cover this weak point in my effort to improve myself not only as a student and learner but as a social member and person as well.