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Kolb’s Experiential Learning in the Marriage Context

In module 6, I identified most with Kolb’s model because of its simplicity. I believe that life is complicated sometimes and it is up to us to simplify it when we can. In the class assignment, I managed to find an even simpler version of Kolb’s cycle on the internet. In essence, it is Kolb’s cycle without difficult wording for the different steps. The model below is the simple version of Kolb’s cycle. In place of Concrete Experience, there is ‘Do It’. In place of Reflective observation, there is’ What?’ Instead of Abstract Conceptualization, there is the question ‘So What?’ and instead of Active Experimentation there is ‘Now What?’

If I was an instructor, I would give my students this simpler model so that they don’t have to keep thinking about what to do in concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active conceptualization. This stated I would love to apply this model in a future adult class on marriage.Kolb’s Experiential Learning in the Marriage Context

I am a firm believer in the institution of marriage, which is an institution I see on the death bed every single day. My generation is not taking marriage as seriously as past generations did because something along the line of marriage changed. My class would solely focus on young married men. If you ask half the divorced women who were the problem in their marriage, they will mostly point out to the man. Generally, women want to get married and work hard in marriage. Men on the other hand, often feel pushed into a marriage which may be the reason their marriages are not working at all. It does not help that young men of today have devised all kinds of excuses to stay in relationships with benefits rather than get married. Bad and naughty jokes or memes about marriage further discourage some men from ever considering it. All in all, marriage done right is a beautiful thing. It has its advantages and my future class would want to make marriages work.

A timeline of activities for Marriage Works Class is:

Concrete Experience (Do it): In this stage, anyone allowed to participate in this class will have to be a married man. Allowing unmarried men would be contrary to the step as they will not have the experience of marriage. Unmarried men also tend to have skewed ideas of what marriage is and might just discourage the whole point of the class.Kolb’s Experiential Learning in the Marriage Context

Reflective Observation (What?): In reflective observation, each class member will list activities they think might kill their marriage. One rule for listing this activity will be for members to think about things that their wives are constantly complaining about. I believe that it takes two to tango and the husband may not have an idea that the wife is dissatisfied or why they are frustrated with them. In each circumstance, listed men will have to identify what happened each time the undesirable act was committed.

Abstract Conceptualization (So What?): In this stage, each member will have to think of what the above-listed results mean. They also have to list ways in which they influenced the outcome. In short, why do you think your wife was mad about what you did in a particular instance?

Active Experimentation (Now What?): Each member is required to list what they think they will do next time in a particular situation in order to change the outcome. In essence, they will answer the question, ‘How do I not make wife angry again?’

I believe that this model will suffice in marriage class because married men often make the same mistakes over and over again and never learn from their mistakes. This is because despite knowing the outcome for their action, there is a constant lack of reflection. One major takeaway from this class is the importance of reflection and I plan to instill this practice in fellow members. Going through marriage and failing to reflect upon its lessons is the reason people are failing in several marriages. This class also instilled in me the importance of expanding my perspective and I believe that the interactions we will have in this class will open up our minds on why marriages are falling apart so that we may identify ways to do marriage differently.

A critic for Kolb’s model from discussions in class is that it does not include a social-cultural perspective. While the class activities listed above show that the class will majorly be about identifying things we do wrong, the rest of the time we will be learning about what marriage was like in the past. Since the class will welcome people from all races in life, we will appreciate lessons from different cultures about marriage. Times might have changed, but men and women still think the same about marriage. Identifying how marriages worked in the past and adding in a modern touch will help us in the active experimentation step.

I will create a learning atmosphere in which learners feel respected and connected to one another by three general rules. There will be no back-talking or making fun of what any person thinks about why marriages are failing. There will be no discussion or sharing personal stories illuminated in class outside class. Marriage is sensitive and people feel disrespected when things told in confidentiality are made public. The third rule will be that everyone has to share aspects of what they think is killing their marriage. Misery loves company and if everybody reveals that they are not perfect but willing to work on it, they will have a common purpose and become connected.

I will use personal relevance and learner volition to create a favorable learning environment by using suggestions from andragogy. The assumptions of adult learning will help me design a program that will ensure learning from experience, applicable concepts to daily married life and self-learning as each individual will have to walk their personal journey.Kolb’s Experiential Learning in the Marriage Context

Engaging learning experiences in marriage class would be to offer solutions for the common problems mentioned. Each solution will be specific to a particular problem and not one fits all solutions. The challenging aspect will be members tailoring these suggestions to fit their marriages and marriage needs. By engaging learners, I want to try out the concept of embodied learning learned from my personally chosen Chapter 7. I believe that class members will find learning with both body and mind insightful. I will encourage the use of emotion and intuition to help learners use their bodies to feel when there is a problem in marriage and through intuition find ways to make their marriages safe harbors.

To affirm that learners have learned something, I will encourage the sharing of success stories and little joys experienced along the way of making marriage right. This will be a long term class and will exist for as long as members feel they need it. My class will be in the business of making marriage right again. I understand that marriage also has its problems from the female gender but men have no control over that. Like in self-directed learning, we will be taking charge of what we have control over and making the best of bad situations.Kolb’s Experiential Learning in the Marriage Context