Handout | The Iterative Learning Cycle

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This free downloadable PDF highlighting the iterative learning cycle.

According to merriam-webster.com, iteration means, “a procedure in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to a desired result”1

The iterative learning cycle is a process children use to master new skills like walking, feeding themselves, reading, and more. The cycle involves making an attempt, failing, evaluating what went wrong, refining the approach, and starting the cycle again. This process values failure and self-assessment.

This cycle builds habits and wires brains. “This is the feedback loop behind all human behavior: try, fail, learn, try differently. With practice, the useless movements fade away and the useful actions get reinforced.” writes James Clear in Atomic Habits.


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I'm an early learning speaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ and Explorations Early Learning.


  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iteration