How to Apply Reflective Learning to Corporate Training

In 1910, John Dewey, a noted psychologist, philosopher, and educational reformer, said, “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” Over 2000 years ago, Confucius voiced a similar sentiment, “To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.” Essentially, learning without reflecting upon it is wasted, and spending time in your thoughts and acting without learning is dangerous.

Reflective learning isn’t a new concept. It has long been used in academia, ever since Dewey and his peers began discussing experiential learning in the past century. Reflective learning is what it sounds like: reflecting upon learning experiences to derive meaning.

But the theory has been applied far less often in corporate training and development. When we apply this thought to designing and developing corporate training, questions arise, namely:

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