Provide On-going Learning Opportunities for Older Volunteers

By: devorah

Some organizations think that training older volunteers is not good management because of the belief that:

â??Younger volunteers may be quicker to grasp new concepts.

â??Younger volunteers are more willing to apply new methods or techniques.

â??Older volunteers will not be with the organization for a long time.

â??Older volunteers have poor memories and experience declining intellectual
abilities as they age.

â??Older volunteers are resistant to new learning.

â??Belief that older volunteers are â??set in their waysâ??.



All of these assumptions are discriminatory as well as false!



What Are The Characteristics of Older Learners?

â??A tendency to regard any type of testing as threatening.


â??A reluctance (especially among older men) to be involved in activities that
are embarrassing or threatening to their self-image.


â??An apprehensiveness over repeating rote learning and evaluation procedures
that many older volunteers associate with schooling.


â??Many newer educational methods such as team learning, games, and small group
training exercises may seem strange or even threatening to some older
volunteers.


â??A low tolerance for training exercises and activities that seem remote from
the purpose at hand.


â??Stress and insecurity when challenging or confrontational training techniques
are used.


â??Performance is depressed when the material is difficult or complex.
This anxiety disappears once the material has been learned.


â??Being out of practice in learning situations may lead to low initial
performance, until the person gets back into the swing of things.



Creating a Successful Training for Older Volunteers:


1.An adjustment period may be necessary.


2.Self-paced learning seems to work best with older volunteers.


3.Adjust methods and pace when unlearning and relearning is required.


4.Training materials should be relevant and related to the job.


5.Testing and evaluation stresses older volunteers.


6.Participative teaching techniques that accent the learnerâ??s previous
accomplishments and experience,produce high performance.




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