In my work with volunteers, I'm often placing people in roles that they haven't done before due to transferable skills they have. For example someone in fundraising may have strong sales or marketing background. Someone who takes on an event management role may have a project management background and so on.
Therefore when working on introducing the basics of fundraising, event management, or people management to volunteers it is important to help them understand that their prior knowledge is helpful in their new role.
So often I hear people say "I know nothing about fundraising."
When I ask:
- have you ever talked about a cause you were passionate about?
- have you ever had someone ask you to donate money or time to something?
- have you ever done research on what to buy and shared this with a friend or spouse?
The answer to all of these questions is usually yes...and the basics of fundraising really do match this prior learning.
It is no wonder that this Generative learning theory stuck out to me as I looked at the hundreds on the link we were given to choose from. I am a constructionist through and through, and I am drawn to anything that involves the student being an active participant in their learning.
The Generative Model of Learning's "fundamental premise....is that people tend to generate perceptions and meanings that are consistent with their prior learning. (Wittrock, 1974)
"Merlin Wittrock, ... has emphasized the importance of transfer, prior learning, and the interaction of student characteristics and instructional methods. The focus is on the learner. Wittrock made it clear that the learner is not a passive participant, but an active participant in the learning process. "
Generative Learning Theory https://sites.google.com/site/generativelearningtheory/
"although a student may not understand sentences spoken to him by his teacher, it is highly likely that a student understand sentences that he generates himself" (Wittrock, 1974)