Connecting students' life experiences with classroom teaching and learning and classroom learning to their real life, in the framework of Kolb’s experiential learning model

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This research explores my own teaching and learning with regard to connecting students' concrete experiences with classroom teaching and learning with real life. For this purpose, I taught and reflected within the context of a lower-secondary Social Studies classroom of a community school in Karachi. In this regard, my action was informed by Kolb's experiential learning framework which includes four processes of (what Kolb calls): accessing students' concrete experiences, facilitating reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and finally carrying out active experimentation of the emerging constructs. Based on this framework, and using the qualitative research method, I carried out a data based reflection on my teaching focus of connecting concrete experiences with classroom teaching and learning, and classroom teaching and learning with real life. Subsequently, I collected data through classroom observation (of my own practice) with the support of my critical friend, who was the class-teacher; whose class I taught (with school’s and her permission), students' focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. The study highlights the usefulness of Kolb' experiential learning framework and within that the use of strategies such as questioning and probing, the use of authentic material, working with pictures from newspapers to solicit students' concrete experiences from their daily life. In addition, the study discusses the process of reflective observations, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation of the students on concrete experiences. However, the study also highlights the difficulty in operationalizing Kolb's third stage' of experiential learning framework, i.e. abstract conceptualization, as a discrete stage'. Furthermore, the study finds the use of data based reflection, as an important process to gain a better insight in my teaching and learning. The study concludes by identifying areas for further research, presenting my learning as a teacher, researcher and teacher educator and mentioning some of the challenges I faced during the research.

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