This chapter performs a number of functions. It could be said to have a 'pivotal' role in the book. The first section is a summary of the generic view of learning that has been developed in the earlier chapters of this book. This includes vocabulary that will be used later in discussions of reflective and experiential learning. The second section is an overview of the exploration of reflective and experiential learning in the chapters ahead. The third section is concerned with one feature that reflective and experiential learning both have in common - that both occur relatively independently of a teaching (mediation) process.
Important vocabulary in this section is emphasized in italics. We have indicated that the focus of this book is on the relatively conscious learning of ideas and largely not the learning of physical skills. We could say that a person learns when she retains an idea in such a manner that she can use it to guide new learning. Our interest has been on the nature of good quality learning that contributes to a person's knowledge.
We describe learning in relation to a simple example. The learner is learning about the leaf of a tree that she thinks that she has not seen before. The process of learning involves the bringing to bear of relevant prior knowledge