Learning theorists recognize that not all experiences result in learning, particularly discipline-based learning. John Dewey called for education to be deeply rooted in experience (1916), yet he acknowledged that experience in and of itself is not always educative (1933). Experiences often create controversy, and if the controversy is not reflected upon, it can be a misleading, even harmful experience, which produces a lack of sensitivity and responsiveness in the learner (Dewey 1933). Although an encounter has the potential to develop key perceptions that foster personal growth, it is only when the experience is thoughtfully considered and analyzed that generalizations are formed to influence future action (Glenn and Nelson 1988).
Hatcher, Julie and Bringle, Robert G., "Bringing the Gap between Service and Learning" (1997). Evaluation/Reflection. 20.