Learning in the round

Submitted by Pierre Brini, LABA, Bordeaux
Download Method Guide

‘Learning in the Round’ is a profoundly social process where learning is not a transaction but a transformation. All actors in the process are able to shape the content and conditions of learning. Traditional distinctions between teacher and learner are transformed. In a fully realised work-based learning process where the learner is fully engaged, experience is converted into learning. It is about learning through practice in a range of environments and contexts.

In which context was the method developed?

This was developed in work-based education for more practitioner based subjects including those in the events and security industries. This was created to ensure that those who were used to experiential learning were exposed to theory and could then use the theory in practice rather than practice theory alien to them. Educational theory across fifty years influenced this which is spoken about in our book about this area. The method changed over time because we wanted to include those who could not, read, write, or comprehend the use of other tools except experiential learning in their job structures. This worked well and showed the value of those without qualifications to this area.

Settings and participants the method is best suited for

Professionals from diverse sectors such as dance and security or events and mathematics, where discourse in a common language could create new ideas and changes in interpretation of their areas of expertise.


There are no limitations to this kind of teaching as long as those taking part recognise the value of experiential learning in the workplace.

Experiences with the method

We have used this method for 25 years and it has changed everything we knew about education. It has created value for all types of learners especially those who are kinesthetic learners. WE have years of experience documented throughout the event, and security industries and with students on our master’s programme who learned with us over the years.


Yes, we have hundreds of these linked to every programme we teach from feedback.

Additional references

Smith, P., Kemp, C. (2012) Learning in the Round: Concepts and Contexts in Work-Based learning Cambridge Academic:Cambridge