Monday, July 4, 2011

Adult learning theory - activity 7

honeymum.gif

This diagram by Honey and Mumford (Image source : www.learningandteaching.info/learning/experience.htm) is an extension of the original experiential learning cycle diagram developed by Kolb (1984). I believe that experiential learning is inherent in the creative process of learning art and design. Kolbs experiential learning cycle by nature fits in with the teaching and learning of art and design. The art/design course I teach is practical and project based, learning happen through experimentation and actually making stuff. We expect to make mistakes, we expect to do lots of tests and trials, to reflect on these and move forward and make something else. Concepts, theory, reason etc (Abstract Conceptualization) is often difficult to grasp if the experience associated with it is separated. Both the Concrete Experience and Active Experimentation lead to reflection which in turn lead to a deeper understanding of concepts and theories.


It is difficult to separate out the different individual concepts that are to be learned in this context too. When a student makes a piece of work we can look at it from many different angles to talk about a certain concept. Many different aspects, concepts, theories can be taught by making one piece of work or during one project, in the Art/design context everything is interlinked and overlapping, and usually nothing exists without the other.


Example - Teaching Composition


Composition doesn't exist in isolation there are many things that inform a composition, in fact it is the coming together of other components that make up a composition like Color (color theory), white balance, use of space, form, texture, line. When teaching composition it is important to also talk about these other things which in themselves are or could be rather huge things.

Usually I give a lecture about composition, then do a demonstration (Concrete Experience). Slides and notes are posted on moodle. The students then go and make their own work 'Active Experimentation' s. My course is project based and the students all choose their own subject matter, I teach a great deal one on one and guide them as they develop their images to develop sound composition, and become aware of all of the components that inform a composition. Thus using inquisitive questioning to help facilitate Reflective Observation. And hopefully naturally through experience, experimentation and reflection will incur deep learning of the visual theories that underly successful image making.