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Learning Style

Understanding the way that you learn, your learning style, will help you select your learning activities to ensure you learn most effectively. This does not mean that you cannot learn from activities that are not specifically suited to your own style, in fact selecting activities outside your normal style will help you develop your learning skills.

kolb's learning styles model

Kolb's learning theory (Kolb 1984)[2] sets out four distinct learning styles, which are based on a four stage learning cycle:

  • 'immediate or concrete experiences' provide a basis for:
  • 'observations and reflections' which are assimilated and distilled into:
  • 'abstract concepts' producing new implications for action which can be:
  • 'actively tested' in turn creating new experiences.

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford

In 1986 Honey and Mumford developed a Learning Style Questionnaire building upon Kolb's work. They identified four styles of learning ('activist', 'reflector', 'theorist', and 'pragmatist'), which had much in common with Kolb's work and had strong correlations with the learning cycle.

  • Activists enjoy doing things and tend to act first and consider the implications afterwards.
  • Reflectors like to collect data, review and think carefully before coming to any conclusions.
  • Theorists think problems through step-by-step and tend to be perfectionists who like to fit things into a rational scheme.
  • Pragmatists are eager to try things out and like concepts that can be applied to their job.

Honey and Mumford (2001)[1] details the learning style questionnaire and how to determine your learning style.

Referenced Material

  1. HONEY, P. and MUMFORD, A. (2001) The learning styles questionnaire. London: Peter Honey Publications
  2. KOLB, D.A. (1984) Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2006) Learning Style [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: