Action Learning

Other Titles
{Excerpt} Conventional approaches to learning hinge on the presentationof knowledge and skills. Then again, knowledge is revealedthrough methods of questioning amid risk, confusion,and opportunity. Reginald Revans, the originator of actionlearning, recommended that one should keep away from experts with prefabricated answers. Rather, people shouldbecome aware of their lack of knowledge and be preparedto explore their ignorance with suitable questions and helpfrom others: finding the right questions rather than the right answers is important, and it is one’s perception of a problem, one’s evaluation of what is to be gained by solving it, and one’s estimation of the resourcesavailable to solve it that supply the springs of human action. Action learning is an educational process by which a person studies his or her own actions and experience to improveperformance. Put simply, it is about solving problems and getting things done. In action learning, a smallgroup of 5–8 persons (called action learning set) meets regularly for a day or half a day over at least 6 months and works collectively on a problem faced in ongoing practice. The action learning set helps a “presenter”work on a problem through supportive but challenging questioning. It encourages a deeper understanding of theissues involved, a reflective reassessment of the problem, and an exploration of ways forward. (Action learningrequires that actions be agreed at the end of each meeting.) By so doing, it provides a structured way of workingthat provide the discipline we often need to learn from what we do and improve practice as a result.
Journal / Series
Volume & Issue
Date Issued
Asian Development Bank; ADB; poverty; economic growth; sustainability; development
Effective Date
Expiration Date
Union Local
Number of Workers
Committee Chair
Committee Co-Chair
Committee Member
Degree Discipline
Degree Name
Degree Level
Related Version
Related DOI
Related To
Related Part
Based on Related Item
Has Other Format(s)
Part of Related Item
Related To
Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Reference(s)
Previously Published As
Government Document
Other Identifiers
Required Publisher Statement: This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (
Rights URI
Accessibility Feature
Accessibility Hazard
Accessibility Summary
Link(s) to Catalog Record