Action Learning: A Pragmatic and Moral Philosophy

I will argue that action learning (AL) is rooted in pragmatism, in the philosophical as well as everyday sense. Philosophical pragmatism (Pierce 1907; Dewey 1919; Dewey 1929; Dewey 1938) underlies the Kolb learning cycle (Kolb 1974; Kolb 1975; Kolb 1984; Kolb 1991), and is frequently, with some limitations, used to explain AL as a form of experiential learning. Knowledge, in these terms, is practical knowledge, 'know how' rather than 'know what'; although the latter has a part to play in the abstract conceptualisation phase of formulating practical knowledge

Burgoyne, J. (2011) Action Learning: A pragmatic and Moral Philosophy, in Pedler, M. (ed) , Network and Complex Adaptive Systems Theory. Action Learning in Practice, 4th edition, Gower, Aldershot