Action learning has a history of more than 60 years of practice. During the late 1920s a group of research scientists "found that meeting to question their successes and failures, in a very deliberate and precise way, and then reflecting on them together, helped them to gain insights and act more appropriately" (Rimanoczy 2007:247). The various types of action learning were organised in 1999 (p. 248) into four schools:
- The Tacit School entail that people learn incidentally from real problems while working.
- The Scientific School follow Lewin's action research cycle but focus on learning.
- The Experiential School base their learning process on Kolb's learning cycle, by starting with action, followed by reflection on the action and changes to future action.
- The Critical Reflection School does what its name implies; the reflection deepens to explore beliefs and assumptions. [Action Reflection Learning falls within this school).
Two consistent elements were found across the four schools, namely:
- Working on real problems that are ambiguous.
- Participants meet to report progress and discuss problems.
Rimanoczy, I. 2007. Action learning and action reflection learning: are they different? Industrial and Commercial Training, 39(5), 246-256.