M2.04 Conducting the mentoring process

3. How individuals learn

Learning Model (free adaptation from Manchester Metropolitan University)

This diagram shows the process of learning. By following the diagram through we are able as individuals to embed our learning and part of the role of a mentor is to encourage mentees to work through the learning cycle. An individual’s learning style will determine where they will naturally want to spend the most time. For example, activists will want to spend time moving onto new experiences and will have to be encouraged to recall and reflect on experiences they have just been engaged in. Theorists will be reluctant to try out new things until they have all the information they can possibly find. Pragmatists will want to think about and have lots of time to plan how they will approach things. Reflectors will need to be moved on from reviewing what has happened to trying out new experiences.
Understanding the learning style of your mentee is helpful in showing you the part of the learning cycle they will lean towards naturally and where you may need to give a little push. An easy way to find out an individual’s learning style is to ask them to describe something they learned how to do and how they did it. For example, riding a bike, learning a musical instrument, learning a language or how they approach building flat packed furniture. This give you a good indication know about how your mentee likes to learn. It is helpful to also recognise your own learning style so you are aware of the areas you may gloss over as they don’t suit your own natural way of learning.