Constructivism 5: Kolb’s Learning Styles

Continuing our exploration of Experiential Learning Theory. In the years since Kolb first devised the learning styles inventory, the definitions of each type

  1. Diverging
  2. Assimilating
  3. Converging
  4. Accommodating

(see Table 1), have been refined through research and clinical observation (2000, p.4) in studies carried out in 1984 and 1999.

Kolb’s Learning Styles’ Characteristics

Table 1. Kolb’s Characteristics

[table id=12 /]

Current developments in Experiential Learning Theory have led Kolb and his colleagues at Experience Based Learning Systems, Inc. to designate second- and third-order learning styles (pp.23-24) facilitating the creation of a learning styles matrix, which Kolb et alia believe assists in understanding learning

at a deeper and more comprehensive level than previously, and provides guidance for applications to help people improve their learning, and designing better processes in education and developmentā€¦ in organizations and society.

(2000, p.28)

Next: Social Learning



Boyatzis, R. E. Kolb, D. A. & Mainemelis, C. (2000) Experiential Learning Theory: Previous Research and New Directions. [Internet] IN: Sternberg, R. J. & Zhang, L. F. (Eds.). Perspectives on cognitive, learning, and thinking styles. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Available from:Ā [Accessed 23rd February 2018]

Kolb, D. A. (2006) Learning Styles Matrix diagram. [Internet] Available from:
[Accessed 8th November 2013]