Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Generative Learning

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_171



Generative learning is a theory that involves the active integration of new ideas with the learner’s existing schemata. The main idea of generative learning is that, in order to learn with understanding, a learner has to construct meaning actively (Osborne and Wittrock 1983, p. 493). According to Wittrock, the main advocate of generative learning, learners construct meaning by actively building relationships between stimuli and their stored information such as knowledge and their experiences (Wittrock 1990, p. 349). This construction of “semantic and distinctive idiosyncratic associations between stimuli and stored information” (Wittrock 1974, p. 89) is called generation. Generative learning is, therefore, the process of constructing meaning through generating relationships and associations between stimuli and existing knowledge, beliefs, and experiences.

Theoretical Background

The basic assumption of the concept of generative...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational ScienceUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany