Strengths and weaknesses of the Kolb Model
Each learning style has its strong and weak points. To balance different needs of their students, teachers should provide learning objectives in many different ways and in that way ensure that all learning styles are covered. This can be achieved through group learning and conversational learning.
Group learning is particularly successful if groups consist of different learning styles. Researches found that heterogeneous groups accommodating different learning styles learn significantly more than homogenous group consisting of whatever learning style (see Sandmire above). Researches also showed that teams formed randomly with the aim to include different types of learners preformed better than self-selected studies. Having that in mind teachers can form the learning groups by random allocation of students into the groups. In that way teachers can presume that groups consist of all four types and prepare their teaching units including different teaching strategies.
Although Kolb’s theory is widely accepted and has its use for improving performances especially in higher education, there are a number of problems with the model (Greenway, R. 2004).
David Kolb is putting forward a particular learning style model. The problem here is that the experiential learning model does not apply to all situations. Another problem is that Kolb’s theory provides only limited number of factors that influence learning. It doesn’t explain psychodynamic, social, and institutional aspects of learning.
It is important to have in mind that people differ in their learning type over time and over situations. Different approaches may be needed even to same person in different situations.
The major critique to the Learning Style Inventory as a measurement of learning styles is lack of its objectivity, reliability and validity. Other complains are connected to its generalisablility as it has been used within a fairly limited range of cultures. For its broader use further studies are needed.