Encounter Learning Centre

Circular Learning Theory

By Hedy Schleifer, MA, LMHC, June 2013

I have a great fascination with learning theories. Here is a very useful one that was taught to me by Avi Achiassaf, a friend in Israel.

He told me that most often people think about learning in a linear fashion. We learn more and more. However he said that what has been much more useful to him is the circular learning theory. We learn in increasingly bigger and bigger circles.



However, we need to close the smaller circle of learning before we are ready to enter the bigger one. So for example our website. Years ago, we had our first circle website. We needed to learn all there is to learn about it. We needed to be satisfied with the results. We needed to consider it done, and well done. Only then could we imagine that we could create a new and better one.

In other words: we must conclude a chapter of learning, like a chapter of Talmud. We learn it, we understand as much as we do, we celebrate that we have learned it.  Only then when we learn it again, do we learn it from the next circle with more ripeness, maturity and mastery.

The closing of the learning circle we are standing in is challenging. In our mind we can visualize the next circle of excellence. However we are not ready for it. The muscle needed to close the circle, and say “well done!” helps in the maturation process, and gets us ready for the next circle of learning.