After Kathleen Taylor and Annalee Lamoreaux introduced David Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning, they next tied in James Zull and his 4 PIllars of Learning. Zull is a Professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University, which happens to also be home to David Kolb.
Here together are Kolb’s Model and Zull’s Pillars. You can see that they utilize similar vocabulary and refer to similar practices.
What Zull appears to have done is provide the biology for Kolb’s model by ascribing the areas of the brain that experience the cycle of learning.
The image above is my drawing of Zull’s model, which is on his Case Western page. and is best explained in his words, also from his site:
According to our current model of the connection between brain function, human learning, and education, we believe that education can engage the learner’s brain to the fullest extent when students follow a cycle of concrete experience with their subject, reflection on their experience and connecting it to their prior knowledge, generation of their own abstract hypotheses about their experience and testing their hypotheses through action, which produces a new sensory (concrete) experience.
Given these two models of learning, what does this imply for adult learners and the people who teach adults? That is what Taylor and Lamoreaux focused on in the remainder of their session, and what I will focus on in my next post.
For more of James Zull’s words, please visit the following two sites.
- SharpBrains hosts an October 2006 interview with James Zull, An ape can do this. Can we not?
- James Zull authored the article What is “The Art of Changing the Brain?” at the New Horizons for Learning