What Kind Of Experiential Learner Are You?


A learning cycle is a concept of how people learn from experience. A learning cycle will have a number of stages or phases, the last of which can be followed by the first.

There are different learning models proposed by many theorists and scientists. Today we’re presenting Peter Honey and Alan Mumford Model.

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford believed the learning cycle stages to be:

  1. Doing something, having an experience
  2. Reflecting on the experience
  3. Concluding from the experience, developing a theory
  4. Planning the next steps, to apply or test the theory

Honey and Mumford gave names to the people who prefer to enter the cycle at different stages: Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist. While different people prefer to enter at different stages, a cycle must be completed to give learning that will change behaviour.

The cycle can be performed multiple times to build up layers of learning. Honey and Mumford’s learning styles questionnaire has been criticized for poor reliability and validity.

So What Kind Of Experiential Learner Are You Right Now?


1. Activist


Activists are those people who learn by doing. Activists need to get their hands dirty, to dive in with both feet first. Have an open-minded approach to learning, involving themselves fully and without bias in new experiences

Activists enjoy:

  • brainstorming
  • problem solving
  • group discussion
  • puzzles
  • competitions
  • role-play


2. Reflector


These people learn by observing and thinking about what happened. They may avoid leaping in and prefer to watch from the sidelines.Β  Prefer to stand back and view experiences from a number of different perspectives, collecting data and taking the time to work towards an appropriate conclusion.

Reflectors enjoy:

  • paired discussions
  • self analysis questionnaires
  • personality questionnaires
  • time out
  • observing activities
  • feedback from others
  • coaching
  • interviews


3. Theorist


These learners like to understand the theory behind the actions. They need models, concepts and facts in order to engage in the learning process. Prefer to analyse and synthesise, drawing new information into a systematic and logical ‘theory’.

Theorists enjoy:

  • models
  • statistics
  • stories
  • quotes
  • background information
  • applying theories


4. Pragmatist


These people need to be able to see how to put the learning into practice in the real world. Abstract concepts and games are of limited use unless they can see a way to put the ideas into action in their lives. Experimenters, trying out new ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work.

Pragmatists enjoy:

  • time to think about how to apply learning in reality
  • case studies
  • problem solving
  • discussion


15 thoughts on “What Kind Of Experiential Learner Are You?

    1. Thank you for your comment again Katy!

      The article really focuses on how we can find ourselves being a given type at different stages in our life!

      Activists make sh*t happens! It’s a great quality to have!

      But I believe you might also have qualities from the other categories as well, if you look deep down yourself πŸ™‚

      I’m a mixed between all four of them!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. These you mention are the 4 dimensions of experience, the Hight, the Width, the Length and the Depth of the process of learning from experience, I believe they all coexist and we constantly balance in between, to find… Measure.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. … And with measure, we find our rhythm so to spin at the center of things, that is why, at the end it all is a cycle, the person is circumventing in… There sure is so much beauty in learning, the whole experience, simply magnificent! Thank you, for being inspiring, have a lovely day!


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