Kolb says that ideally (and by inference not always) this process represents a learning cycle or spiral where the learner 'touches all the bases', ie., a cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting.
Immediate or concrete experiences lead to observations and reflections.
In his publications - notably his 1984 book 'Experiential Learning: Experience As The Source Of Learning And Development' Kolb acknowledges the early work on experiential learning by others in the 1900's, including Rogers, Jung, and Piaget.
The model gave rise to related terms such as Kolb's experiential learning theory (ELT), and Kolb's learning styles inventory (LSI).
Knowing a person's (and your own) learning style enables learning to be orientated according to the preferred method.
That said, everyone responds to and needs the stimulus of all types of learning styles to one extent or another - it's a matter of using emphasis that fits best with the given situation and a person's learning style preferences.
Authorship/referencing Having developed the model over many years prior, David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984.
Accordingly - especially if you are working with young people - use systems and methods with care.
(This interpretation was amended and revised March 2006) Kolb explains that different people naturally prefer a certain single different learning style.
Various factors influence a person's preferred style: notably in his experiential learning theory model (ELT) Kolb defined three stages of a person's development, and suggests that our propensity to reconcile and successfully integrate the four different learning styles improves as we mature through our development stages.