Authors: Colin Beard and John P Wilson
Publisher: Kogan Page
Wow! Mind-blowing stuff. It’s going to be some time before I stop enthusing about this book. This is a must for all development practitioners, educators, trainers, and facilitators alike. A very worthwhile investment at under £25.
It opens with a simple conceptual framework, known as the ‘learning combination lock’, which seems so obvious one wonders why it hasn’t been thought of before. Suddenly, every feasible learning scenario seems to be encapsulated into an easy-to-understand diagnostic tool, invaluable for overcoming the challenges and obstacles faced by all development practitioners.
The book is surprisingly accessible. It is a meticulously researched technical work, skilfully enmeshing references to avoid interrupting the flow. The extent of the reference section is quite unusual for a handbook, with a summary of the tantalising snippets taking up 16 pages at the end of the book. This lends it significant credibility.
Experiential learning, claim the authors, is the unifying principle behind every major learning theory. Socrates and Plato get a mention, as well as more contemporary theorists. Experiential learning pioneer Kolb features heavily, but in the context of well-reasoned argument.
The breadth of coverage is remarkable, ranging from ethical practice to spiritual intelligence, from design of the physical learning environment to use of cartoons in management development, and from the use of essential oils to outward-bound courses.
Useful? Five out of five stars
Well-written? Five out of five stars
Practical? Four out of five stars
Inspirational? Five out of five stars
Value for money? Five out of five stars
Overall? Five out of five stars
Reviewed by Alison Norris, HR consultancy manager, MHL Support