Broadly there have been four approaches to analysing human learning: behaviourist, cognitive, emotive and experiential. However, it must be stressed that few of the approaches are entirely devoted to a single domain and some, like later Gestalt thinking, were important springboards in the development of learning theory crossing the boundaries from one area to another. For instance, Lewin's approach bridges the Gestalt and the experiential. In the West, the earliest theories of learning were the philosophical analyses of Locke and Hume, while Confucius and his followers were much earlier in the East. Thereafter came the behaviourist, psychological, the emotive and experiential. Each of these contains elements that were discussed in Figures 1.5 and 1.6. However, the experiential model described by me in 1987 and criticised in the opening chapter of this book was a comprehensive model about which Merriam and Caffarella (1991: 257-9) wrote:
broader perspective than the simple S-R model, but he had by no means reached the conclusion that it is the whole person who experiences and learns.