ERIC Number: ED423428
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Volunteering and Adult Learning. ERIC Digest No. 202.
Like adult education, the field of volunteer management shows increasing movement toward professionalization. The establishment of standards--both for the profession of volunteer management and for volunteer service itself--is generating debates similar to adult educators' debates over purposes and objectives. The types of learning that occur in volunteer settings cross the spectrum of adult learning and include the following: instrumental learning, problem solving, experiential learning, empowerment, formal education and training, informal and incidental learning, and self-directed learning projects. Because much of volunteers' learning occurs beyond managerial control, volunteer managers may need to focus on how their organizational culture supports learning. Volunteering holds great potential for adult learning, even if the connections are not always explicit. Adult educators can help improve the quality of learning through the volunteer experience in the following ways: advocate a broader view of learning that goes beyond courses and workshops to include mentoring, peer support, and information needs; share with volunteer managers current knowledge about self-directed learning, program development, and assessment of adult learners; and provide greater recognition and support for informal learning by increasing individuals' capacity for critical reflection, enabling them to recognize and document their volunteer activities as learning experiences. (Contains 15 references) (MN)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.