I subscribe to two models of learning that guide my classroom instruction. The first, constructivism (Duffy and Jonassen, 1992), believes that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world by experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. New knowledge builds upon our previous ideas and experience. Ideally, learning happens in collaboration with others.
The second model, experiential learning (Kolb, 1984), supports students in applying the knowledge and conceptual understanding gained in the classroom to real-world problems or situations. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for the learning activities. Adults are most interested in learning that has immediate relevance and impact to their career or personal life, and their learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.