FocusDistinguishing and ranking sources of information, from most concrete to most abstract
- Knowledge is … information
- Knowing is … using information
- Learner is … an information processor (individual)
- Learning is … inputting (and associated computer-based notions, such as processing, storing, and retrieving)
- Teaching is … transmission (of information)
SynopsisThe Cone of Experience is a 10-level model of different types of learning experiences, with most concrete experiences at the bottom and the most abstract at the top (Direct Purposeful Experiences; Contrived Experiences; Dramatized Experiences; Demonstrations; Study Trips; Exhibits; Educational Television; Motion Pictures; Recordings, Radio, Still Pictures; Visual Symbols; Verbal Symbols). Associated with Cognitivism, it was intended as a tool to render efforts to influence learning more efficient and effective.
CommentaryThe most obvious shortcoming of the Cone of Experience is that it is clearly a moment-specific artefact. It was revised several times, and a quick review of its foci reveals that it fails to account for a tremendous range of information technologies. Although not actually part of the model, another problem is that it lends itself to bogus modifications on percentages and sequences.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesEdward Dale
Status as a Theory of LearningThe Cone of Experience is not a theory of learning.
Status as a Theory of TeachingThe Cone of Experience is a descriptive taxonomy that is intended to be useful in efforts to influence learning. That is, it is a theory of teaching.
Status as a Scientific TheoryThe Cone of Experience meets few of our criteria for a scientific theory.
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2019). “Cone of Experience” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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