Hokkaido University Research Profiles

Human and Social Sciences

The Study of Experiential Learning

How to Promote Reflection and Unlearning

I am studying how people learn from their experience. The key concepts of this research are reflection and unlearning. To examine these themes, I conduct case studies and questionnaire surveys.

Content of research

As shown in Fig. 1, people learn from their experience by going through a cycle of “experiencing,” “reflecting,” “drawing lessons,” and “applying.” In this process, it is important to discard knowledge and skills that are no longer effective. This type of learning is known as unlearning. Unlearning is facilitated by managerial coaching that promotes subordinates’ reflection, and by workplace reflections in meetings and discussions. Based on case studies and questionnaire survey research, I found that excellent managers create an atmosphere to allow workers to freely express their opinions, present medium- to long-term goals and visions, and make them reflect on the causes of problems and failures.

  • Fig. 1 Experiential learning cycle and unlearning

Potential for social implementation

  • ・I believe that the results indicate how managers should promote reflection in the meeting and coaching session.

Appealing points to industry and local governments

If there are companies that have introduced excellent reflective practices in meetings or one-on-one interviews, it is possible to analyze them as case studies and give advice for improvement. If more than 100 respondents are available, a questionnaire survey can also be used to analyze the current state of the workplace. In that case, I use the data for academic research.