Treble-loop Learning LO29132

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 09/06/02

Replying to LO29111 --

Dear Organlearners,

Trudie Steyn <> writes:

>Is there someone who can help me with the concept
>'treble loop learning'? I am quite familiar with single and
>double loop but have not encountered this concept.
>From comments on my article it seems to be from the
>authors Senge and Agyris, but the resources I have
>consulted delivered nothing.
Greetings dear Trudie,

I have seen the name "treble loop learning" a few times, but i cannot
remember where. However, the concept "triple loop learning" is used

The concepts "single loop learning" and "double loop learning" were
developed by Argyris and Schon (1978). In "single loop learning" the focus
is on WHAT do you learn. In "double loop learning" the focus alternates
between WHAT do you learn and HOW do you learn.

The concept "triple loop learning" was developed by Flood and Romm (1990).
Here the focus alternates between the WHAT, the HOW and the WHY of

It is possible to extend this kind of thinking into "quatuple loop
learning", "quintuple loop learning", etc. Long ago i wrote a contribution
to our LO-dialogue in which I did this extention. I think i called it the
W's of Learning, but i cannot find it. HOW is replaced by WAY to get a W.

The fourth loop can then be something like WHEN. It means that one first
has to learn certain simple things before one can learn the more complex
things founded upon them. Working through the words in a dictionary
beginning with W brings many new viewpoints to the complexity of the act
of learning.

>Thank you in anticipation

I hope it helps.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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