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The next and largest set of categories on the Cone fall into the realm of iconic experiences. Iconic experiences encompasses (read the slide aloud).
The cone of experience
THE CONE OF EXPERIENCE
By Edgar Dale
The Cone is a visual analogy and like all
analogies, it does not bear an exact
and detailed relationship to the
complex elements it represents.
• The elements of the Cone of
Experience are the 2 M’s of instruction
namely the media and the material.
• It guides the teachers in choosing the
kind of instructional materials in
Recordings, Radio Still
EDGAR DALE’S CONE OF EXPERIENCE
First introduced in Dale’s 1946
book, Audio-Visual Methods in
Designed to “show the progression
of learning experiences” from the
concrete to the abstract.
Concrete vs. Abstract Learning
Concrete Learning Abstract Learning
• First-hand experiences
• Learner has some
control over the
• Incorporates the use of
all five senses
• Difficulty when not
experience or exposure
to a concept
• Every level of the Cone
uses abstract thinking in
Influences on the
Cone of Experience
Hoban, Hoban & Zisman’s Visual Media Graph
Value of educational technology is based on their
degree of realism
Jerome Bruner’s Theory of Instruction
Three levels in the learning process
Enactive – direct experience
Iconic – representation of experience
Symbolic – words or visual symbols
The process of learning must begin in concrete
experiences and move toward the abstract if mastery
is to be obtained.
Mis-Conceptions of the Cone
• All teaching/learning must move from the
bottom to the top of the Cone.
• One kind of experience on the Cone is more
useful than another
• More emphasis should be put on the bottom
levels of the Cone
• The upper level of the Cone is for older students
while the lower levels are for younger students
• It overemphasizes the use of instructional media
Levels of the Cone
Enactive – direct experiences
Iconic – pictorial experiences
Recordings, radio, still
Symbolic – highly abstract
Recordings, Radio Still
• Refers to the direct experiences or encounter
with what is.
• This is life on the raw, rich and unedited.
• They form the bases for all other learning
• Example: (Actual swimming lesson)
Direct Purposeful Experiences
• “First hand Experiences”
• Have direct participation in the outcome
• Use of all our senses
Working in a homeless shelter
Tutoring younger children
At the very bottom of the Cone we find the most
concrete uses of experience.
Here, we make use of a representative
models and mock-ups of reality.
“Edited copies of reality”
Necessary when real experience cannot be
used or are too complicated.
Conducting election of class and school officers
Mock up of a clock
Can be used to simplify an event or idea to its most
Divided into two categories
Acting (Role Playing)– actual participation (more concrete)
Observing – watching a dramatization take place (more abstract)
• A visualized explanation of an important fact, idea or process by the
5. Guided motions
• Showing how things are done.
– How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
– How to play the piano
– How to lift a fingerprint
• Visualized explanation of an important fact, idea, or process
• Demonstrations are a great mixture of concrete hands-on
application and more abstract verbal explanation.
Watch people do things in real situations
Observe an event that is unavailable in the
• These are excursions, educational trips, and
visits conducted o observe an event that is
unavailable within the classroom.
Example: Field Study
• These are displays to be seen by spectators.
• May consist of working models, charts and posters.
• Sometimes are “for your eyes only”. More on visual.
○ Career fair
○ Classroom project
○ National History Day competition
Iconic Experiences on the Cone
Progressively moving toward greater use of
Successful use in a classroom depends on how
much imaginative involvement the method can
illicit from students
Radio, recordings, and still pictures
Educational Television and
Television Motion Pictures
interaction with events
from around the world
Edit an event to create
than if experienced
actual event first hand
TV coverage of 9/11
Can omit unnecessary
or unimportant material
Used to slow down a
Viewing, seeing and
Can re-create events
with simplistic drama
that even slower
students can grasp
• Television and motion pictures can
reconstruct the reality of the past so
effectively that we are made to feel we
• The unique value of the messages
communicated by film and television lies
in their feeling of realism, their emphasis
on persons and personality, their
organized presentation, and their ability
to select, dramatize, highlight, and clarify.
Can often be understood by those who cannot
read. Lack auditory dimension.
Helpful to students who cannot deal with the
motion or pace of a real event or television
These are visual or auditory devices which
maybe used by an individual or a group.
Time Life Magazine
Listening to old radio broadcasts
Listening to music
• Refers to the use of words or printed materials
which no longer resemble the object under
• Example the word whale. Upon reading or
hearing the word whale, the learner can form
a mental image about it.
No longer involves reproducing real situations
Chalkboard and overhead projector the most
widely used media
Help students see an idea, event, or process
• They are not like the objects or ideas for
which they stand. They usually do not contain
visual clues to their meaning.
• Written words fall under this category. It may
be a word for a concrete object (book), an
idea (freedom of speech), a scientific principle
(the principle of balance), a formula (e=mc2)