When you were in elementary school, you probably understood that there were some basic forms of learning; association, repetition, memorization.

As you got older, you probably found the techniques that worked best when you were trying to learn and process new information, but still had to be flexible enough to learn in different environments.


What type of learner are you?

Shelley BrownDavid Kolb was a leader in research on learning in 1971 and then updated his model in 1985 .

He believed that there are 4 preferences when it comes to learning:

  1. Learning by Experiencing
    • Learning from specific experiences
    • Relating to people
    • Being senstive to feelings and people
  2. Learning by Reflecting
    • Carefully observing before making judgements
    • Viewing issues from different perspectives
    • Looking for the meaning of things
  3. Learning by Thinking
    • Logically analyzing ideas
    • Planning systematically
    • Acting on an intellectual understanding of the situation
  4. Learning by Doing
    • Showing the ability to get things done
    • Taking risks
    • Influencing people and events through action


These four preferences translate into a four distinct learning styles:

  1. Accomodating
    • Puts ideas into action
    • Adapts well to changing circumstances
    • Intuitive; trial and error
    • Likes technical or practical fields
  2. Diverging
    • Imaginative
    • Many perspectives
    • Broad cultural interests
    • Information seeking
    • Often likes the arts or humanities
  3. Assimilating
    • Ability to create theoretical models
    • Assimilates disparate observations
    • Inductive reasoning
    • Likes abstract concepts
  4. Converging
    • Practical application of ideas
    • Hypothetical deductive reasoning
    • Does well on conventional testing
    • Often likes engineering and sciences


Use the Kolb learning style inventory (LSI) to help your employees and students:

  • Understand how their learning style impacts upon problem solving, teamwork, handling conflict, communication and career choice
  • Develop their learning styles to fit their roles
  • Find out why teams work well – or badly – together
  • Strengthen their overall learning.


You really can teach an old dog new tricks, if you know the right approach! Bromelin People Practices utilizes the Learning Style Inventory in coaching, facilitates adult learning styles training and administers the Kolb Learning Style Inventory; if you are interested in more information, please email [email protected].

Let us help make you an employee of choice!

Shelley Brown
Bromelin People Practices