Aligning Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory with a Comprehensive Agricultural Education Model


  • Marshall A. Baker Oklahoma State University
  • J. Shane Robinson Oklahoma State University
  • David A. Kolb Case Western Reserve University



experiential learning, agricultural education, Kolb, teacher preparation


Experiential learning has been a foundational tenant of agricultural education since its inception. However, the theory of experiential education has received limited attention in the permanent agricultural education literature base. As such, this philosophical manuscript examined Kolb’s experiential learning process further, and considered the implications for experiential learning theory (ELT) in secondary agricultural education. Specifically, the researchers outlined Kolb’s ELT and conducted a telephone interview with Dr. David A. Kolb. Analysis of the interview indicated that experiential learning is a critical component of a comprehensive agricultural education model (i.e., three–circle model). It was explained that experiential learning builds meta–cognitive skills and can be goal–oriented and assessed. However, agricultural educators must be present and purposeful when providing experiences for students. Additionally, they must ask reflection questions (e.g., “What happened?” “Now what?” “So what?”) during each phase of ELT throughout the comprehensive agricultural education model (i.e., classroom and laboratory, Supervised Agricultural Experience [SAE], and FFA). Based on these conclusions, a Comprehensive Model for Secondary Agricultural Education was proposed to include the role of experiential learning more intentionally.


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How to Cite

Baker, M. A., Robinson, J. S., & Kolb, D. A. (2012). Aligning Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory with a Comprehensive Agricultural Education Model. Journal of Agricultural Education, 53(4), 1–16.




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