The Four Quadrant Framework

In the next section, we work through the four-phase quadrant one step at a time, then compare and contrast theoretical perspectives for the top half of the quadrant (where the orientation is primarily based on cognitive processes) with the seemingly greater preoccupation with relationships exhibited by scholars whose work is located in the bottom two quadrants. This leads us into considering future directions. In doing so, we reflect (briefly) on the scant attention that has been devoted to emotional factors in learning at both the level of the individual and the organization.

Quadrant one: learning is susceptible to control and direction: the individual perspective

Several learning theories can be seen to occupy this quadrant, which suggests that the learner is more or less passive and subject to stimuli from the outside environment. Implicit is the idea that acknowledged experts are responsible for learners’ progress. Learning is achieved by creating an environment which reinforces desirable actions Skinner (1953). Here, we bring together both behaviorist traditions, which suggest that learning represents ‘any change in behavior occurring as a result of practice or experience’ (Bass and Vaughan, 1967) as well as traditional cognitive perspectives. For cognitive theorists, learning is not just a change in behavior, but rather a change in the way information is processed and the individual’s mental schemata built or re-organized (Blanchard and Thacker, ...

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