Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Learning is a generative and reflective activity. Generative learning involves actively making sense of to-be-learned information by mentally reorganizing and integrating it with one’s prior knowledge, thereby enabling learners to apply what they have learned to new situations. Generative learning theory has its roots in Bartlett (1932) view of learning as an act of construction, in which people invest effort after meaning by integrating new experiences with their existing knowledge structures or schemas.Wittrock (1974, 1989) pioneered efforts to apply these early insights toward a theory of meaningful learning relevant to education. Wittrock generative model of learning is based on the premise that learners generate perceptions and meanings that are consistent with their prior knowledge and that learning with understanding involves the process of generating and transferring meaning for stimuli and events from one’s background, attitudes, abilities, and experiences. According to Wittrock’s (1989) model, meaningful learning consists of four main components: generation, motivation, attention, and memory.With a view to generative learning, the promotion of reflective thinking, in the educational and training field promotes training of competent and responsible teachers.Enhancing students’ higher thinking skills has always been a considerable challenge in education.One of the most interesting investigations about the use of storytelling in higher education has been carried out by McDrury & Alterio (2003). They have proposed a five stage model of reflective learning through storytelling which they have mapped onto Moon’s (2002) five stages of learning.The paper shows the results of a study that involved 525 trainee teachers of the IV Specialization Course on educational support activities for the kindergarten and primary school of the University of Palermo in the A.Y. 2019-2020. The experimental research was carried out in the activities laboratory (180h).Reflective and Generative Learning are the framework of the research, central in the teaching-learning process for the construction of professional, skilled and responsible teachers. The research path wanted to verify the validity of the McDrury and Alterio Storytelling model (2003) in order to increase students’ reflective, narrative and critical competence, to promote reflective and generative learning at university.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN21 13th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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