Theory: Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience
Theorist: Edgar Dale
Edgar Dale was a theorist in the areas of reading and journalism and a leader in the humanistic/communications tradition of the field of instructional technology. He wrote three books dealing with "Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching." Dale believed that learning becomes more meaningful when abstract learning and concrete experience are related. (Seels,1997, p.1) Description of Theory:
Edgar Dale created the cone of experience (1946) that he explained in his book on audiovisual methods in teaching. The Cone of Experience is a graphical representation of Dale’s model of visual classification on ways of learning experiences. The theory assisted in the development of utilizing audio-visual methods in teaching that were used within the instructional technology field. The conical shape was used to create the symbolic depiction of learning from the most concrete level of experience located at the bottom of the cone to the most abstract level of experience located at the point of the cone. The cone implemented a series of varied experiences from the very basic to enhanced learning experiences with the intent to immerse the learner further within the subject matter in order to retain a greater knowledge of the material. The learner is meant to utilize a variety of senses (movement, sight, hearing, touching) at different intervals of experiences to create a direct learning process. The original categories of Dale’s cone of experience starting from the top of the cone to bottom are as follows: Verbal Symbols; Visual Symbols; Radio-Recordings-Still Pictures; Motion Pictures; Exhibits; Field Trips; Demonstrations; Dramatic Participation; Contrived Experiences; and Direct Purposeful Experiences. Figure 1.
Edgar Dale made changes within the cone of experience as advances in technology brought new and immersive ways of learning into teaching. In Dale’s second edition to his book (1954),...
References: Dale, E. (1946) Audio-visual methods in teaching. New York: The Dryden Press.
Dale, E. (1954) Audio-visual methods in teaching, revised edition. New York: A Holt-Dryden
Book, Henry Holt and Company.Dale, E.
Brief Summary of Dale’s Cone of Experience. Retrieved September 16, 2008, from http://jjde.blogspot.com/2007/09/brief-summary-of-dale.html
Seels, B. (1997). The Relationship of Media ISD and Theory: The Unrealized Promise of Dale’s Cone of Experience. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from http://eric.ed.gov:80/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/16/c4/c6.pdf
Edgar Dale’s cone of experience.
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