THE CONE OF EXPERIENCE BY EDGAR DALE
Overview In 1946, Edgar Dale developed his theory on Cones of Experience. It is a visual representation of the types of experiences human beings encounter as they prepare to synthesize the knowledge and convert it to understanding. Dale mentioned that humans can encounter different types of experiences. Each level of experience results in a different level of effectiveness as it relies on the process of knowledge. He has divided his model into three major categories; most abstract to the least abstract, as it travels down from the top to bottom. According to Dale, the arrangement in the cone is based on abstraction and on the quantity of senses involved. The experiences in each stage can be mixed and are interrelated that brings up more meaningful learning.
Modes of learning Edgar Dale introduced the Cone of Experience exhibits headway from direct, first-hand experience to graphic representation and on to purely abstract, symbolic expression.
The Cone of Experience corresponds with three major modes of learning
1.Enactive or direct experience involves practicing with objects (the student actually ties a knot to learn knot-tying). This kind of experience involves concrete, immediate action and use of the senses and body.
2.Iconic experience involves interpreting images and drawings (the student looks at drawings, pictures or films to learn to tie knots). Such experiences are once removed from the physical realm and limited to two or three senses.
3.Symbolic experience involves reading or hearing symbols (the student reads or hears the word “tie” and forms an image in the mind). Usually, in such experiences, the action is indifferent and the experience is limited to thoughts and ideas.
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