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What is Dales Cone of Experience?

The Cone was originally developed by Edgar Dale in 1946 and was
intended as a way to describe various learning experiences. Essentially,
the Cone shows the progression of experiences from the most concrete (at
the bottom of the cone) to the most abstract (at the top of the cone).
Look at the picture below.

This picture shows people or ,in this case, student learning stages and
divides them into several cattegories. To be abe to understand more about
this Cone Dales Experience, lets classify the level of students into three
categories:Basic, intermediate, and advanced.
1. Basic level

In this level, the way of students learning are only focus on reading
and listening so based on this cone experience, their capability of
remembering the lesson is only 10-20%. And also, in this level, students
are only able to define, to describe, to list, and to explain what they got.
Students in this level are categorized as passive learning sudents.
2. Intermediate level
In this stage, the way of students learning have improved a little bit.
Now they learn by seeing and hearing and based on this cone experience,
their capability of remembering the lesson increase to 30-50%. In thisstage,
the students have been able to demonstrate, to apply, and to practice their
knowledge. Students in this level are also passive learning students.
3. Advanced level
This is the last level of students learning. In this final level, the
students have been able to analize, to define, to create, and to evaluate
what they got. They can remember better than those two previous level
because they learn by saying, writing, and doing which increase their
capability of remembering by 70-90%. Students in this level can be
categorized as active learning students.
How Can Instructors Use the Cone of Experience?
According to Dales research, the least effective method at the top, involves
learning from information presented through verbal symbols, i.e., listening
to spoken words. The most effective methods at the bottom, involves
direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field
experience. Direct purposeful experiences represents reality or the closet
things to real, everyday life. The cone charts the average retention rate for
various methods of teaching. The further you progress down the cone, the
greater the learning and the more information is likely to be retained. It also
suggests that when choosing an instructional method it is important to
remember that involving students in the process strengthens knowledge
It reveals that action-learning techniques result in up to 90% retention.
People learn best when they use perceptual learning styles. Perceptual
learning styles are sensory based. The more sensory channels possible in
interacting with a resource, the better chance that many students can learn
from it. According to Dale, instructors should design instructional activities
that build upon more real-life experiences.
Dales cone of experience is a tool to help instructors make decisions about
resources and activities. The instructor can ask the following:

Where will the students experience with this instructional resource fit on
the cone? How far is it removed from real-life?
What kind of learning experience do you want to provide in the
How does this instructional resource augment the information supplied
by the textbook?
What and how many senses can students use to learn this instructional
Does the instructional material enhance learning?
How can Dales Cone be used to enhance SL learning?
What should be taken from reviewing Dales Cone of Experience is that
experiences at ALL of the levels described should be used in the second
language classroom. Dales Cone emphasizes learning experiences that
appeal to the different senses and the different ways in which students
learn. Direct parallels can be drawn between the different levels of
experience depicted in the Cone.
Teaching is the process by which the teacher brings the learner and the
subject together. Therefore, there are three focal points in teaching- the
teacher, the learner and the subject. The entire process of teaching can be
reduced to something simple enough to be both understandable and
useful. This reduction is provided in the form of teaching model. This
model consists of the teacher, the student, the subject, teacher preparation
and the teaching process. Annoh 2003
Hughes argues that knowledge of how children learn is the first essential
for success in teaching. The teacher helps children in school to develop
intellect, character, skill, taste and sociability. We teach them knowledge,
habits, ideals, skills, attitudes, manners. By this statement, teachers help
them to adjust themselves to their environments- spiritual, social and
material. This view of education as adjustment puts us, as teachers, in our
proper position. We are subsidiary to the process of learning, for in this
process there are two factors- a child on the one hand and his world on the
other. The teachers function is to bring the two into contact, to help to put
them en rapport.
William Arthur Ward said; the mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher
explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.

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