Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory

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The Four Kolb’s Theory

The first stage of Kolb’s experiential learning theory (ELT) is Concrete experiences. This stage is related to defining a significant event in the life of the person. It does not involve any analysis of the causes, consequences, or influence of the event. It suggests simply defining the facts about a certain experience, including what type of event it was, who was involved, where and when it occurred, etc.

The second stage of ELT is Observations and Reflections. It is related to examining the particular event and defining how it has influenced the life of the person. On this stage, it is necessary to analyze how the experience has changed the person’s views and skills and if it has contributed to his/her personal development. Presenting convincing evidence on the significance of the event is an essential part of this stage as it helps to demonstrate the visible results of the experience.

The third stage of ELT is Formation of Generalizations. It is related to finding academic evidence that reveals different aspects of the person’s reflection on the event. This stage requires searching for underpinnings for the experience and its significance. Academic underpinnings help to validate the event and its implications based on the results of relevant scientific research.

The fourth stage of ELT is Application in New Situation. It is related to identifying the usefulness of the lessons learned from the experience. The methods of applying the lessons in various situations and the positive influence they have on the person’s ability to act in future should be assessed. This stage involves defining the long-term practical significance of the experience.

Domestic Violence

The experience of dealing with the patient suffering from domestic violence fit the criteria discussed on the website as it is first-hand and generates a significant amount of learning that creates an increased capacity to use its lessons in new situations. Such experience is job-based and context-embedded within life events, as the job of a nurse involves contacting with the victims of domestic violence recognized as a national problem on a regular basis (Yonaka, Yoder, Darrow, & Sherck, 2007). Such experience is of vital importance for every nurse, as effective acknowledging and acting on signs of domestic violence can be ensured if the nurse is aware of appropriate effective responses (“Domestic violence: The role of the nurse,” 2013). Such awareness is mostly promoted by relevant experience.

My experience in dealing with the patient suffering from domestic violence has created a significant life change based on my better preparedness to act in similar situations. This experience prompted my ability to find efficient solutions in complex situations while treating the victims of domestic violence. Such change increased the level of my professional skills, as a knowledgeable nurse can provide “potentially life-saving services” (Chapin, Froats, & Hudspeth, 2013, p. 2). Besides, the implications of this experience can be seen on the wider level, as it improved my life by teaching me how to deal with stressful situations, search for safe solutions, and react to witnessing someone’s suffering sensibly and effectively.

The time span of my experience is long, but particular conditions need to be provided for its significance duration. The lessons I learned from the experience include the knowledge about how to deal with particular areas of issues in my professional area and how to cope with problems in general. However, the long time span of my experience can be ensured only by practicing the gained skills and using the gained knowledge in similar situations in the future. The long time span of the experience contributes to meaningful learning as it helps to develop a full understanding of the specifics of dealing with patients suffering from domestic violence and the patterns that can be applied while finding a solution for any occurring problem.

A personal narrative differs from other academic types of writing a lot as it suggests sharing personal experience instead of analyzing the facts presented by a third person. Such type of writing requires more personal involvement and knowledge about how to present the facts in a comprehensible and clear way. I think, a personal narrative can be rather challenging as finding an appropriate form of reflecting personal experience and expressing thoughts sometimes can be more difficult than analyzing somebody else’s experience and opinions. It is not an easy task to make the reader feel like he/she is involved in the events described in the paper and prove the trueness of the presented arguments.

My life experience differs from the course work form as real life events are characterized by unexpectedness and lack of time given for making appropriate decisions. That makes real experience valuable as it teaches priceless lessons that can be learned only in practice. Course work framework serves as a platform for gaining the theoretical knowledge about different issues while practical experience shows how to use this knowledge in practice and reveal the specifics that real time situations have. Therefore, experiential learning can be more meaningful than course work if the area of knowledge requires coping with problems that suggest emotional stress. In such situations, the real experience can help the learner to gain practical skills needed for finding appropriate solutions. For example, dealing with patients suffering from domestic violence often provokes discomfort, embarrassment, guilt in nurses (Natan & Rais, 2010). Experiential learning appears to be more suitable to learn to overcome these complications.


Chapin, J., Froats, T., & Hudspeth. T. (2013). Who’s listening to victims? Nurses’ listening styles and domestic violence screening. The International Journal of Listening, 2, 2-12.

Domestic violence: The role of nurse. (2013). British Journal of Nursing, 22(18), 1043.

Natan, M. B., & Rais, I. (2010). Knowledge and attitudes of nurses regarding domestic violence and their effect on the identification of battered women. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 17(2), 112-117.

Yonaka, L., Yoder, M., Darrow, J., & Sherck, J. (2007). Barriers to screening for domestic violence in the emergency department. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 38(1), 37-45.

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NursingBird. (2022, April 29). Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/abel-kolbs-experiential-learning-theory/


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"Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory." NursingBird, 29 Apr. 2022, nursingbird.com/abel-kolbs-experiential-learning-theory/.


NursingBird. (2022) 'Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory'. 29 April.


NursingBird. 2022. "Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory." April 29, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/abel-kolbs-experiential-learning-theory/.

1. NursingBird. "Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory." April 29, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/abel-kolbs-experiential-learning-theory/.


NursingBird. "Abel Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory." April 29, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/abel-kolbs-experiential-learning-theory/.