teaching%20for%20transfer

teaching%20for%20transfer - D N PERKINS AND GAVRIEL SALOMON...

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Unformatted text preview: D N PERKINS AND GAVRIEL SALOMON Teaching for Transfer Students often fail to apply knowledge and skills learned in one context to other situations. With well-designed instruction, we can increase the likelihood that they will. concerned With economy, you rent a small truck to transport your worldly possessions You have never driven a truck before and won- der whether you can manage it How- ever, when you pick the truck up from the rental agency, you find yourself pleased and surprised Drivmg the truck is an experience unfamiliar, yet familiar You gmde the vehicle through the City traffic With caution, yet growmg confidence, only hoping that you Will not have to parallel park It This everyday episode is a story of transfer—something learned in one context has helped in another The followmg line of poetry from Shake- speare also shows transfer “Summer‘s lease hath all too short a date ” Regret- ting the decline of summer in his Sonnet 18, Shakespeare compares it to, of all things, a lease The world of landlords and lawyers falls into star- tling luxtaposmon With the world of dazzling days, cumulus clouds, and warm breezes Your experience With the truck and Shakespeare’s metaphor differ in many ways From drivmg a car to drivxng a truck is a short step, while from leases to summer seems a long step One might speak roughly of “near transfer” versus “far transfer ” In the first case, you carry a phySical skill over to another context, Whereas, in F sang a move across [own and the second, Shakespeare carries knowledge assoc1ated With leases over to another context One might speak of transfer of skill versus transfer of knowledge, and, although here we Will focus on those two, other sorts of things might be transferred as well, for instance, attitudes or cognitive styles Finally, the first case is everyday, the second a high achievement of a liter- arv genius Nonetheless, despite these many contrasts, both episodes illus— trate the phenomenon of transfer In both, knowledge or skill assoc1ated With one context reaches out to en- hance another (It is also possrble to speak of negative transfer, where knowledge or skill from one context interferes in another) Transfer goes beyond ordinary learning in that the skill or knowledge in question has to travel to a new context—from cars to trucks, from lawyers to summer, or across other gaps that might in princ1ple block it To be sure, that definition makes for a fuzzy border between transfer and or- dinary learning For example, if car-to- truck is a gap, so in some sense is automatic transmissmn to standard transmissmn, or Ford automatic to Chrysler automatic But the last two and espeCially the last do not seem intmtively to be different enough to pose 21 Significant gap In practice, we have a rough sense of what gaps might be Significant and, although that sense may not always be accurate, nothing in this article Will depend upon drawrng a perfectly sharp line between transfer and ordinary learning If transfer figures in actiVities as diverse as movmg across town and writing sonnets, it is easy to believe that transfer has at least a potential role in Virtually all walks of life But transfer does not take care of itself, and con- ventional schooling pays little heed to the problem With proper attention, we can do much more to teach for transfer than we are now domg Why 15 Transfer Important to Education? Any survey of What education hopes to achieve discloses that transfer is inte- gral to our expectations and aspira- tions for education First of all, the transfer of ham skills is a routine target of schooling For example, stu- dents learn to read Dick andjane orA Tale of Two Cm nor iust for the sake of reading other texts but in prepara- tion for a much Wider range of read- ing—newspapers, job applications, in- come tax forms, political platforms, assembly instructions, Wills, contracts, and so on Students learn mathemati- cal skills not Just for the sake of fig- uring Sammy’s age when it is two- thirds ofjane’s, but for smart shopping in the supermarket, Wise investment in the stock market, understanding of statistical trends, and so on .- :Anoz'her --{:Xp£:<;taii1}.r‘z _. of .cdumtéun Cairjeéms'thc: mwa 01" iéf‘iiifikadgii Tim: “data base" students acquém in Schoai {31$};th.mfi'wm weir thinking in '(‘flher sdn‘k‘fl-subjtmts and m fiéfi: Gum'ide. 'c.)f.sa:bwo£ £01“ {maximum Eu :17» _ pan": and Mic-Mean . I":ifit(l}t"§’ si‘mum ' i'i-iirip Students mLhé'rék-‘igbout Currant _ Fijiitifjfil .eveéxlrsrwtbc {iradii'izmr'a- itim _ 3112:3336: .E'hmjm 'ti‘EEEECOFHfl'i'ZiC and pmw 6:11 ii-iét£1)‘f5i {imz itéfiuehcfi their; the? :‘(ffzifit'jfifi Why diner-mics (2r acts in Riff?“ Studies shtyuifii Ewip Studeh‘é-s m think about fL'u:1dmn<-m'f;zél gambiems of iifesw the (:yCiE? {)fhgi:“§h :zx'1d__death. [ha mug» git”: for drémihgmcc. the qtmffl {0'1" hm: _ and E‘K'Jw _(}i"§€?5§ hwn life incajfz'mtem; {E19363 mama? mamas.- SCiE‘HCE‘ .instmc» lion Sht‘,3il§€i help fitudei‘lts i0 undcza - Maxi {her warm zirwéund ther‘zamme . hmrzc‘h waving m. the Mad 4.2:;- 311-0893,? ' ham", .3 my :15 ’rli'1.2i€‘t§fi§iiili:CCQlfigfi'fi“, {1m {hie-3.2:: and p‘l‘umim of finch-‘21? gxmci‘ or genetic {ingimcring _ Finalin trzlristbr piaysa 3 E6553" 213% in ;- an aspirziéicm of education {hat firefly ' has :ittaimd great gnmmincncm {Em ' reaching 11? thirfiiing 5km A5; mm ' basic xkéils and .kmm-‘iedgeig here again the aim is; not ins: in iixfiid Stu-dams" perfiin‘mzmcfe am 21 mmmr ranger of ' S'ChOOE. {215% {Ema hopes; That xmdmfis - Wiéé bemme. heifer rsrzczkfim amid Grin? cal tbmkerfi in the many coma-nits; mm: invite a thoughziifl tsppn‘mahwn’mking impm'mm life decismnsg czésé‘éng mica! . iméramréng "wiri'x mile-31's {iqujiz-Ai‘nly, m1» gaging Era prambctivn: gammy; such as -- {Essay writing pai'i"11'i1:1g_, and St.) on. ' Why Es ‘i‘rans‘fer erimme m - Educatinn? . - - . The implicét rmsumpiion in (flu-cab ' _ .fiimfli..pf;‘1cz£i€ehas been ti‘:zi_t..u“amszih*r 1314618- «Liz-1m of iz'seif. ’11) be lighthearch - -' :xlz‘aom 2-; heavy 1T)1‘(;1'3i<3m,'0m r'r‘tijgiht <73” _-fl:zis:x:b£r "$.80 ,E’?€2€p" than?" of transfer: f‘Let 'tbei‘n alone and may?“ C.<'m‘1.€3 _ home! “waggmg. _-€h€ir {3&1}; ht'ébmd _-%§mm.” If fitugimts :%_{:<:§'1.xia‘€ ini‘ui‘mz-ltitm _-3b‘<:>m' '{I‘E‘éfi Revoimimumk'W212"-&'t‘i£§ Kiw- Wmtwarci _e:fii§§r:§1ti€m,' if they --iez=:r:1 some. _;}urc;hiemuscfivifig. shifts in main. 3 _.i1r;dt'3ttimc wiiiml 'ti‘iiukmg skills- m Sada "5,-ai'iiiuis MEMO-marEm; 3 a;is't6fi2:_1tibzi§i 3 min ways: in Line pcfiiticai Erma, .Lézermiy' H1311] Over cg: Ike-man}: . . .- mhcr mmexéss in and mm; of school wkwm it might apply, we 1x333 {3:‘1fin‘tur‘23tei’y: sti'JnSiclmfiahie amtxth and everyfiay cxpm‘ienm taatéfy flag: the fig} Peep theory i8.i§"1€}ftli§“§fltfif§§’ optimistic. Whiie the: misfit akiiir; at" reading, writing,- zmd agii'finnetic typi~ czaiiy Simw tg‘ansfm‘ (for ':”e;1.~2(}3'15 m be aiismsxcd inter), 0mm Séflfts {If RTE-“7V2.” (<3:ng and 5M very nle do amt: For 8%:an :: great dml uf “it? knnwieéigo St'LidCiité-"y --;:1<fqmr€3 is; “incr‘f” m.“ “passiva’ The imawledgfi Sizc'yws up when students respond in px‘uipes, SUé‘Ih as muitiple cimice 017' ' _ fiHJflMthIHl‘lk quizzea. E'*I()we~vc¥r,-Sté1~__' '. - (Emits dc} not I "tank? the: kl‘étjwledge {(1)- pmblezééwmlflng'.c‘vmths where" they ' have [0 think 21329in new _:5itu23.ti_'<3135.11{é;r ' _ exampie, Brazhsfmrd and. his mllmgtiea ' ' Emma dmm>115£rat65dthat but}: Everyday ' imawiedge- and mmeage acqiiiricafi- in typicai sshmul Study fibrmzzts; {end {0' '. he: inert: (Bransforiixm 211. 198Ciipt‘ftft'3rk'} ' ' e: 311‘ 3.985).. Studim 0f -pr£}gt';1mzisiifi§;.s ' instrucgian have ShOWI“! .[Emtu can £3? armbk: 'pc‘nrrkm {if ngmnmg. siudcéz'fis'“ .' _ ; kmlmrledge 0f cmnmandrs in a- _§}.§.‘03~'.. - '- géirem . ' ' grammmg language 15 mert even to the context of actrve programming, where there IS hardly any gap to trans— fer across (Perkins and Martin 1986, Perkins et al 1986) Studies of medical education argue that much of the tech- nical knowledge student physrcxans ac- qurre from texts and lectures 15 men—- not retrieved or applied 1n the drag— nostlc contexts for which it is intended (Barrows and Tamblvn 1980) It has often been suggested that literacy 15 one of the most powerful earners of cogmtlve abilities Olson (1976), for example, has argued that written language permtts patterns of thmkmg much more complex than can be managed Wlthln the limited capacrty of human short—term mem- ory Moreover, wrltten texts, 1n their presentational and argument struc- tures, tllustrate patterns of thinking useful for handling complex tasks Lit- eracy, therefore, ought to brmg With it a variety of expanded cognmve abili- ttes To put the matter in terms of transfer, literacy should yield cognitive gains on a number of fronts, not gust the skills of reading and writing per se The drlficulty Wlth testing this by pothesxs 18 that people usually learn to wrtte in schools, at the same tune that they learn numerous other skills that could affect their cogmuve abilities This dilemma was resolved when Scribner and Cole (1981) undertook a detailed Study of the Val, an African trtbe that had developed a written language which many members of the tribe learned and used, but that mam- tatns no tradition of formal schoollng Remarkably, the Investigators studies disclosed hardly any impact of Var literacy on the cognitive performance of Va: who had mastered the written language The hypothesrzed transfer did not appear Another source of dtscouragmg evr dence about transfer comes from con- temporary studies of the impact of computer programming instruction on cogrutrve skills Many psychologists and educators have emphasized that the richness and rigor of computer programming may enhance students’ cogmtrve skills generally (eg, Feur— zetg et al 1981, Lmn 1985, paPert 24 1980) The learnmg of programming demands systemanaty, breaking prob- lems into parts, dragnosmg the causes of difficulties, and so on Thinking of this sort appears applicable to nearly any domain Moreover, as Papert (1980) has urged, programmmg lan- guages afford the opportunity to learn about the nature of procedures, and procedures m turn provrde a way of thinking about how the mind works While all this mav be true, the track record of efforts to enhance cognitive skills v1a programming 15 discourag- mg Most findings have been negatrve (see revrews 1n Clements 1985b, Dal- bey and Lmn 1985, Salomon and Perk- ms 1987) Another well-investigated aspect of learning has been the efl’ort to teach somewhat retarded 1nd1v1duals the ba— 51c cognitive skills of memory Learn- ing some basrc strategies of memory famrliar to any normal mdwrdual can substantially improve the performance of retarded learners However, m most cases, the learners do not carry over the strategies to new contexts Instead, it rs as though the memory strategres are “contextually welded” to the cm cumstances of their acqutsmon (Bel- mont et al 1982) With this array of findmgs contrary to the Bo Peep theory, 1t 15 natural to ask why transfer should prove so hard to achieve Several explanauons are possrble Perhaps the Skill or knowl— edge m questron 15 not well learned m the first place Perhaps the Skill or knowledge m itself 23 adequately as- srmrlated but when to use It 18 not treated at all m the mstrucuon Per- haps the hoped-for transfer tnvolves genuine creative dtscovery—as 1n the case of Shakespeare’s metaphor— that we Simply cannot expect to occur routinely While all these explanauons have a commonsense character, one other contributed by contemporary cogni- tive psychology is more surprising there may not be as much to transfer as we think The skills students acquire in learning to read and wrrte, the knowledge they accumulate in study- ing the American Revoluuon, and the problem-sowing abrhues they develop Taken together, the notions of bridging and hugging write a relatively simple recipe for teaching for transfer: First, imagine the transfer you want. Next, shape instruction to hug closer to the transfer desired. Also, shape instruction to bridge to the transfer desired. 1n math and physrcs may be much more specrfic to those contexts than one would imagine Skill and knowl- edge are perhaps more specnahzed than they look. This 15 somettmes called the problem of “local knowl- edge”, that IS, knowledge (including Skill) tends to be local rather than general and crosscutting m character The classrc example of [1115 problem of local knowledge ts chess expemse, which has been extensxvely re- searched Chess 15 an mterestmg case mpomtbecausettappearstobea game of pure logic There 15 no con- cealed mformation, as in card games EDUCATIONAL WP all the information is available to both players It seems that each player need only reason logically and make the best possible move Within his or her mental capacrty Hewever, in contrast With this pic— ture of chess as a general logical pur- suit, investigations have disclosed that chess expemse depends to a startling degree on experience specifically With the game Chess masters have accumu- lated an enormOus repertorre of “schemata"——patterns of a few chess pieces With Significance for play (de Groot 1965, Chase and Simon 1975) One pattern may indicate a certain threat, another a certain opportunity, another an avenue of escape Skilled play depends largely on the s1ze of one’s repertorre A chess player may be no more adept at other intellectual pursuits, such as solvmg mysteries or provmg mathematical theorems, than any layperson Findings of this sort are not limited to chess They have emerged in Virtu- ally every performance area carefully studied With the question in mind, including problem solvmg in math (Schoenfeld and Herrmann 1982), physxcs (Ch! et al 1981, Larkm 1983, Larkin et al 1980), and computer pro- gramming (Soloway and Ehrlich 1984), for example In summary, diverse empirical re- search on transfer has shown that transfer often does not occur When transfer falls, many things might have gone wrong The most discouraging explanation 15 that knowledge and Skill may be too “local” to allow for many of the expectanons and aspira- tions that educators have held When Does Transfer Happen? The prospects of teaching for transfer might be eager to estimate With the help of some model that could explain the mechanisms of transfer and the conditions under which transfer could be expected Salomon and Perkins (1984) have offered such an account, the “low road/high road" model of transfer The model has been used to exannne the role of transfer in the teaching of thinking (Perkins and Sa- lomon 1987), to forecast the Impact of W198i! new technologies on cognition (Per- kins 1985), and to revtew the findings on transfer of cognitive skills from programming instruction (Salomon and Perkins 1987) At the heart of the model lies the distinction between two very different mechanisms of transfer—40w road transfer and high road transfer The way learning to drive a car prepares one for dnvmg a truck illustrates low road transfer One develops well-prac- ticed habits of car drivmg over a con- SIderable period Then one enters a new context, truck dnvmg, With many obvxous Similarities to the old one The new context almosr automatically activates the patterns of behavror that suit the old one the steering wheel begs one to steer it, the Windshield mvrtes one to look through it, and so on Fortunately, the old behavxors fit the new context well enough so that they function qu1te adequately To generalize, low road transfer re- flects the automatic triggering of well- practiced routines in Circumstances where there iS consrderable percep- tual Similarity to the original learning context Opemng a chemistry book for the first time triggers reading habits acquired elsewhere, trying out a new Video game activates reflexes honed on another one, or interpreting a bar graph in economics automatically musters bar graph interpretation skills acqu1red in math This low road transfer trades on the extensnve over- lap at the level of tbe supetfiaal stzm- ulus among many Situations where we ought apply a skill or piece of knowledge High road transfer has a very dif- ferent character By definition, high road transfer depends on deliberate mindful abstraction of skill or knowl. edge from one context for application in another Although we know nothing directly of Shakespeare's mental pro- cesses, it seems likely that Shake- speare arrwed at his remarkable “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date” not by tripping over It, but by deliberate authorial effort, reaching mentally for some kind of abstract metaphorical match With the decline of summer After all, in contrast With GET READY FOR AN ACHON PACED INSERVICE! CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT VIDEOTAPES Decision Points in Secondary. Junior High and Elementary Classroom “Open Ended Student Enacted Vignettes ‘Decision Making Process ‘Solutions Personalized for Different Practices ‘Developed for Clinical Based Teacher Training ‘Facilitator's Guide Provided PARi‘ifl-IUISchool) no pmuuaghwumm as nooutormmnnmm mm m mum-um sawmill-ISM $250 “Sunlight-Anode!- Ilem Stale plus of amenity Cmde Watson helm-thei- him-tanner: Call (901) 464-2310 25 the resemhianm between car and. truck cabs, my Superficial perccpumi Sin'lilariry exists between surnmefs. ' endarld 261159633 to pnwuke a. reflexive ' manectkm. . - _ -- ' I ' .Whazever the came with-S}'1;1kars;">eam, Imam 'm-‘fiz‘yd-ziy examinles '01“ E1 igh min} -' transfer .3379 in anxiety. It-is LISCITI.11:'C€.}" distinguish l‘fiittween' at 'i *imz'two try ‘. ' of high mad tremsfcrwfumm'd Fez-1i. ' : mg and backwayd reaching, in far-- ' - ngtt‘aifrea'ahing high. magi u‘aziléafcr, mic: . 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"xx/17mgalgaciwempm'm qzngmrcdfm lawman: GkflTK’flKQf€.‘()?1i)‘if3?t_,' in}: {113111356}? _ _ - - : - . _. -_ _- __ Wainwri- péfl‘m‘QfCt“>ffé§!?iifl“§l€’(}fl heme??? we newsman-n 4mm Broadiv sp ‘églkifig, {he aticcessékfitf . _. _ 7. 5'!z2£ea<-hgf?ii=w 55% (SM! War mm“ inflmngzxgfiricc'z the dig-Qt __ 1043b; y._1_ amflm’fimzé-rw 'Ivz'giv mm? “ 1.2m mf‘errjflzis prams? 2's ' ‘ ' mam} "hr. {gig/3g, ” ' ' 1:)t'icm 'Of BOW mad {farmth For example: - _".mdet'1m fairiy -_re;1difv carry (we: 'i‘héi; basic reading skill}; :92 _ mam! mew (201$ 'tgs; But thefsurfiice' characteristics; of {hose gzjaw‘cgmtexm- 8:113:1eg St Emulate. . r'eaciii'lg . _saklllé;'~u~¢~text appears in’fmm 017103 Vs Gyéi“; . 53;.) What- CESC’ wouid me do bat-Tend "it? Airithé mutic skills; also {fa-1 afar reudiiy in" .' such contexts as flag-13g- ai'mt .ir'a’cémie tax farms; 0:“ checkifig hills i'n'i-‘(zstélu'ra'nis -' gm}. stoma But again, {kw stimulus fer J'aegrmuse it Clarifies the mnditiansf: ' ' is abyzhe EQW {mm with the require: _: f '_ _ meats of. wennpzacticed skills-.- 01" _3 ' ' -€.it>1m'§-ec§u<fatic:>n affiirdeé nofransfézr" at“ - 3 ' Giants; ié-iarn'_iC'>' mad mare Qt“ IESS.2EdG°_. 2?. demand 15 dtrect and explrcrt the tax forms provtde places for sums, dtlfer' ences, and products, the btll dtsplays an addttton Consrder now one of the fatlures the problem of men knowledge For Instance, when students fatl to utter- pret current events tn ltght of thetr htstortcal knowledge, what can be satd about the problems of transfer7 Fast, there ts an Issue of tntttal learmng the sktll Students have learned through thetr study of htstory ts not the sktll they need when they consrder today’s newspapers We want them to make thoughtful tnterpretattons of current events, but they have learned to re. member and retrteve knowledge on cue We can hardly expect transfer of a performance that has not been learned tn the first place' However, that asrde, what about the condtttons for low and htgh road transfer? As to the low road, there ts ltttle surface resemblance between the We want students to make thoughtful interpretations of current events in light of their historical knowledge, but they have learned to remember and retrieve knowledge on cue. We can hardly expect transfer of a ma performance t has not been learned in the first place! 28 learned knowledge and the new con. texts of appltcatton Why should the current strife between Iraq and Iran automattcally remtnd a student of cer— tatnofthecausesoftheCrverVar, when the surface features are so dtf- ferent? As to the htgh road, thts would requtt‘e expltcrt mtndful abstractton of htstortcal patterns and appltcattons tn other settmgs, to break those patterns free of therr aCCtdental assocrattons tn the Ctth War or other semngs Con— venttonal htstory mstructton does ltttle to decontextualtze such patterns, tn- stead htghltghttng the parttcular story of parttcular htstortcal eptsodes Constder another failure the rmpact of programmtng tnstructton on gen- eral cogntttve sktlls As to low road transfer, tn most of the studtes seektng transfer from computer programmtng, the students have not learned the pro- grammtng sktlls themselves very well, fathng to meet the condttton of prac- ttce to near automaucrty Moreover, there ts a problem wrth the surface appearance condttton for low road transfer In the context of program- mtng, one mtght learn good problem- solvrng practtces such as defintng the problem clearly before one begtns However, the formal context of pro- grammtng does not look or feel very much ltke the tense context of a labor dtspute or the excned context of hunt- mg for a new stereo system Accord- tngly, other contexts where tt ts tmpor- tant to take ume tn defintng the prob- lem are not so ltkely to reawaken tn students’ mtnds thetr programmtng expertences As to htgh road transfer from pro- grammtng, thts would demand em— phasts on abstracttng from the pro- grammtng context general prtncrples of, for tnstance, problem solvrng and transporttng those prtncrples to applt- canons outsrde of programth How- ever, most efforts to teach program- mtng tnclude vrrtually no attentton to butldtng such brtdges between do— matns, but rather focus enurer on butldtng programmtng sktlls So the condtttons for htgh road transfer are not met etther Stmtlar accounts can be gtven ofthe other cases of fatlure of transfer dts- cussed earlter In sumnwy, conven— nonalschoolmghvesuptoitsearher charactertzanon as followtng the Bo Peep theory of transfer—dong noth- mgspecaalaboutltbutexpectmgttto happen When the condtttons for low roadtransferaremetbychance,asm many appltcattons of readtng, wnttng, and anthmettc, transfer occurs—the sheep come home by themselves Oth- erwrse, the sheep get lost To be sure, meettng the low road and htgh road condtttons for transfer ts not the whole story There rematns the deeper problem of “local knowl- edge" The most artful mstructtonal desrgn wrll not provoke transfer tf the knowledge and sktlls tn questton are fundamentally local m character, not really transferable to other contexts 1n the first place ’Ihts problem wrll be revrsrted shortly Can We Teach for Transfer? Besrdes accounttng for fatlure of trans— fer, the foregorng explanatrons hold forth hope of domg better by desrgn- mg mstructton to meet the condtttons needed to foster transfer, perhaps we can achteve tt In broad terms, one mtght Speak of two techntques for promottng transfer—“huggtng” and “brtdgtng ” “Huggtng” means teachmg so as to better meet the resemblance condt- ttons for low road transfer Teachers who would ltke students to use thetr knowledge of btology tn thtnktng about current ecologtral problems mtght 1n- troduce that knowledge 1n the first place tn the context of such problems Teach— ers who want students to relate lttera- ture to everyday ltfe mtght emphasrze ltterature where the common ts par— ttcularly platn for many students— Catober m the Rye or the adolescent ptmng of Romeo, for example “Brtdgtng” means teachtng so as to meet better the condittons for htgh road transfer Rather than expecttng students to achteve transfer spontane- ously, one the needed pro- cesses of abstractton and connectton maktng (Delclos et al 1985, Feuerstein 1980) For example, teacherscan pornt out explicitly the more general pancr- ples behlnd pamcular skills or knowl- Enucmom Lemma? Low road transfer reflects the automatic triggering of well-practiced routines in circumstances where there is consi tualleimilart percep s W to the original learning context. High road transfer is not as dependent on superficial stimulus similarities, since through reflective abstraction a person can often “see through” superficial differences to deeper analogies. edge or, better, provoke students to attempt such generalizations them- selves what general factors provoked the American Revolution, and where are they operating in the world today? Teachers can ask students to make analogies that reach outside the imme- diate context how was treatment of blacks in the U S South before the Owl War like or unlike the treatment of blacks in South Africa today? Teach- ers can directly teach problem'solvmg and other strategies and provoke broadsspectrum practice reaching be— yond their own subject matters you learned this problem-defining strategy in math, but how might you apply it to planning an essay in English? Such tactics of hugging and bridging muss Will sound familiar Teachers already pose questions and organize activities of these sorts from time to time How— ever, rarely is this done perSistently and systematically enough to saturate the context of education With attention to transfer On the contrary, the occa- Sional bridging question or reading carefully chosen to “hug” a transfer target gets lost amid the overwhelm- ing emphasis on subject matter-spe- Cific, topic-speCific, fact-based ques- tions and activmes There is ample reason to believe that bridging and hugging together could do much to foster transfer in instructional settings Consider, once again, the impact of programming on cognitive skills As emphaSized earlier, findings in general have been nega- tive However, in a few cases, positive results have appeared (Carver and Klahr 1987, Clements 1985a, b, Clem- ents and Gullo 1984, Clements and Merriman in press, Littlefield et al in press) These cases all involved strong bridging actiVities in the instruction The same story can be told of efforts to teach retarded persons elementary memory skills As noted earlier, trans- fer was lacking in most such experi— ments—but not in all In a few exper~ intents, the investigators taught learn. ers not only the memory strategies themselves but habits of self~moni- toring, by which the learners exam- ined their own behavror and thought about how to approach a task This abstract focus on task demands—in effect a form of bridging—led to pos- itive transfer results in these studies (Belmont et al 1982) Even Without expliCit bridging, hug~ ging can have a substantial impact on transfer For example, inert knowl- edge has been a serious problem in medical education, where traditionally students memorize mulutudinous de- tails of anatomy and phySiology out- Side the context of real diagnostic ap- plication In an approach called “prob- lem-based learning," medical students acqune their technical knowledge of the human body in the context of working through case studies de— manding diagnose (Barrows and Tamblyn 1980) Experiments to sm- ence education conducted by John Bransford and his colleagues tell 3 Similar story when seience facts and The National Association of Secondary School Principals announces the LEARNING STYLE PROFILE A state-of—the-art instrument to diagnose the learrung styles of students in grades 6-12 The Profile prowdes information on cognitive skills, perceptual responses, study and instructional preferences 23 independent scales 0 Reasonable cost 0 Computer scoring program 0 National task force validated 0 Training seminars and workshops available ordering information contact NASSP Publication Sales 1904 Assocration Drive Reston, VA 22091-1598 Phone (703) 860-0200 concepts were presented to students m the context of a story where they figured m resolvmg a problem or rllumrnanng a quesnon, the students proved much more able to transfer these facts and concepts to new prob- lemsolvrng contexts (Bransford et al 1986, Sherwood et al 1987) In both the medtml context and the scrence work, the mstrucuon hugged much closer to the transfer performance than would Instruction that srmply and strarghtfor- wardly presented mformatron Taken together, the notions of brrdgmg and hugging wrrte a relanvely sunple recrpe for teaching for transfer Frrst, imagine the transfer you want, let us say, mterpretanon of contemporary and past conduct of soctetres and na- ttons, or, let us say, problem solvmg Where care :5 taken to define the prob- lem before seekmg solutrons Next, shape rnstructron to hug closer to the transfer desrred Teach hrstory not )ust for memorrzmg Its story but for mer- pretauon of events through general prmcrples Teach programmmg or mathemancal problem solvrng wrth emphasrs on problem defimng Also, shape mstructton to bridge to the transfer desrred Deliberater provoke students to thrnk about how they ap- proach tasks to and outsrde of hrstory, programmmg, or math Steal a lrttle trme from the source subtect matter to confront students wrth analogous problems outsrde rts boundary Such teamwork between brrdgmg and hug— ging practically guarantees makrng the most of whatever potential transfer a subject matter affords Moreover, there rs an opportunrty to go even further asrde from how one teaches, one can help students de- velop sktlls of learnmg for transfer Students can become acquamted With the problem of transfer in rtself and the tacttcs of brrdgrng and huggmg Students can develop habits of domg consrderable brtdgmg and huggrng for themselves, beyond what the Instruco non Itself directly provrdes Accord- tngly, a mayor goal of teachrng for transfer becomes not just teachrng par- ticular knowledge and skrlls for trans— fer but teaching students at general how to learn for manager 50 Although basic knowledge of our culture has a commonly neglected importance, as Hirsch argues, this does not imply that critical thinking and other kinds of general knowledge and skill are unimportant. Is Knowledge Too Local for Transfer? Encouragrng as all thrs rs, 1t nonethe- less leaves untreated the naggmg problem of “local knowledge” If by and large the knowledge (mcludrng skrlls) that empowers a person m a partrcular actrvrty rs h1gth local to that acnvrty, there are few prospects for useful transfer to other actrvrtres What, then, can be satd about thrs contempo- rary trend 1n theorrzmg about exper- trse and us 1mplrcatrons for the poten- trals of teachmg for transfer7 The suggesuon rs that, whrle the findmgs supportrng a “local knowl- edge” Vlew of expertrse are entrrely sound, the rmplrcatrons drawn from those findmgs contra the prospects of transfer are too hasty Despite the local knowledge results, there are numer- ous opportunrtres for transfer At least three arguments support thrs VlCW- pomt (1) discrplmary boundarres are very fuzzy, not representmg drstmct breaks to the krnds of knowledge or Skill that are useful, (2) whrle much knowledge ts local, there are at least a few quite general and Important think- rng strategies, (3) there are numerous elements of knowledge and Skill of Intermediate generahty that afford some transfer across a hunted range of drscrplmes Ybefuzzmws of drscgolmaty bound- anes Even if knowledge and skrll are local, are therr boundarres of useful— ness the same as the boundanes we use to orgamze discrplmes and subject matters? For a case 1n pornt, hrstory and current events might be treated m schools as drf‘r'erent subtects, and, be- cause theV are partmoned of from each other, one mrght find scant trans- fer between them wrthout specral at« tenuon Yet rt seems plam that the kmds of causal reasonmg and types of causes relevant to explarnmg hrstorrcal happenrngs apply just as well to con- temporary happemngs For another case 1n pornt, lrterature rs a subject to study, lrfe a “subject” to lrve Yet plalnly most lrterature treats funda- mental themes of concern m lrfe— love, btrth, death, acqursmon and de- fense of property, and so on The relatronshlps between lrterature and lrfe offer an arena for reflectron upon both and for transport of rdeas from one to the other and back agatn To generalize, a close look at con- ventronal drscrplrnary boundarres drs- closes not a well-defined geography wrth borders naturally marked by rrv— ers and mountain ranges but, Instead, enormous overlap and mterrelatron If knowledge and skrll are local, the boundarres surely are not the cleav- ages of the conventronal curriculum Yet because those cleavages are there as part of the organrzatron of school- mg, tactrcs of brldgtng and huggrng are needed to take the numerous op— portumtres for fernle transfer across the conventronal subject matters The existence of Important crosscut- tmg tbmlemg strategzes There are cer- tarnly some strateng patterns of thrnk- mg that are unponant, neglected, and cross-discrplmary in character (see, e g, Baron 1985a,b, Baron and Stern- berg 1986, Chrpman et al 1985, Malt- erson et al 1985, Perkms l986a,b,c) For example, 1n vrrtually all contexts people tend not to gtve full attenuon to the other srde of the case—the srde opposite therr own—m reasomng about a clann For another example, people tend to be “solutton mmded," WWW orienting too quickly to a problem and begrnnmg to develop candidate solu- ttons at once, when often it would be more elfectlve to stand back from the problem, explore its nature, define exactly what the problem 15, seek al- temattve ways to represent 1t, and so on For a third, people tend not to monitor their own mental processes very much, when domg so would gar- net the perspectrve and leverage of greater metacognmve awareness To be sure, exactly how to consrder the other srde of the case, explore a problem, or self-monitor is somewhat a matter of local knowledge that Will differ Significantly from context to con- text However, the strategy of allocat- ing attention and effort to c0nsrder1ng the other Side of the case, exploring a problem, or self-momtormg 15 fully general Accordmgly, developing such strategies in any domain, one can then hope to transfer them to others Patterns of thmkmg of mtermedzate generaluy Finally, 1f we do not do mand universal generality, there are numerous kmds of knowledge and Skill of intermediate generality that cut across certain domains and provrde natural prospects for transfer For ex- ample, many consrderatrons of mea- surement, methodology, and the role of evrdence apply fairly uniformly across the hard scrences Any art y1elds interesting results when examined through the categories of style and form, although to be sure the particu- lar styles and forms of importance wrll vary from art to art Psychological con- cepts such as motlve, intention, inner conflict, the unconscxous, and so on have an obvrous role to play in inter- preting literature, history, current events, and everyday life, and indeed perhaps some role to play m examin- ing screnufic discovery Of course, conventional subject matter boundaries usually inhibit the emergence of these patterns of think- ing of mtermedtate generality because the style of instruction 15 so very local that it does not decontextualtze the patterns Bridging and hugging are needed to develop out of the details of the subtect matters the overarching prmcrples Weal988 Members of the Same Team Instead of worrying about which is more important—~local knowledge or the more general transferable aspects of knowledge—we should recognize the synergy of local and more general knowledge To be sure, students who do not know much about history are unlikely to enrich that thinking about the causes of the American Revolution by the general strategy of trying to reflect on both srdes of the case, Amer- ican and British But students who do not have the habit of reflecting on both srdes of a case Will not get much depth of understandlng out of the history they do know Similarly, stu- dents who lack an understanding of key mathemancal concepts Will not gain much from the general strategy of trying to define and represent a prob lem well before they start But stu- dents who lack the habit of trying to define and represent a problem well wrll often misuse the mathematlcal concepts they know when the prob- lem 15 not routine 80 general and local knowledge are not rivals Rather, they are members of the same team that play different posr- tions Proper attention to transfer w1ll make the best of both for the sake of deeper and broader knowledge, Skill, and understanding Cl References Baron, J B, and R S Stemberg, eds Teaching Thinking Skills Theory and Practice New York W H Freeman, 1986 BaronJ Rationality and [mellng New York Cambndge Umversrty Press, 1985a Baron,J “What Kinds of Intelligence Com- ponents Are Fundamental? In 7'bmlemg and Learnmg Skrlls Volume 2 Current Research and Open Queshons, edited by S S Chrpman,j W Sega],de Glaser, pp 365—390 Hillsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Assocrates, 1985b Barrows, H S, and R M Tamblvn Prob- lem-Based Leammg An W to MedicalEducanon New York Spnnger, 1980 Belmont} M, E C Butterfield, and R P Ferrettt “To Secure Transfer of Training Instruct SelfiManagement Skills " in How and How Mud: Can Intelligence “it‘s been the l greatest motivator? insocral studies Since ive been Involved in teaching." .._ ,“,,,,~, _‘ The National Bicentennial Competition on the Constitution and Bill of Rights Cospomored theCentertorCivic anaconda-Commissioan By participating in the National Bicen- tennial onontheConstltution and Bill of Rights and studying We the People . students ga "I consider the impact at the entire... eflort...most sitive tor all my stu- gglrgiédnotlhelési 213;; who par- ' in em n." Thomas Roneau, Teacher Over 500.000 highschooistudents pm- ticipated mtheiirstyearoithislandmarlt "The Competition was the best. We neverhed morelunleeming." Senior High School Student The curriculum now includes Upper , Middle, and Secondary levels and designed to reach over 2 million students in public and private schools this ear When fully imple- mented, this movative program wfll and noncompetitive programs, tying for free, We the People c ass- room matenals, and to receive your = - 1988 CCE catalogue, contact the Center for Civic Education 5146 Douglas Fir Road, Suite B Calabaeu, California 91302 31 \F Be laa’eased’, edrted by D K Deuer- man and R J Sternberg, pp 147.154 Norwood, NJ Ablex, 1982 BransfordJ D ,J J Franks, N J Vye, and R D Sherwood “New Approaches to In— strucnon Because Wtsdom Can’t Be Told " Paper presented at the Confer- ence on Stmtlartty and Analogy, Umver- sity of Illmors, June 1986 Carver, S M, and D Klahr “Analysns, In- struction, and Transfer of the Compo nents of Debugging Sktll ’ Paper pre- sented at the btenmal meetmg of the Somety for Research m Chtld Develop- ment, Balttmore, Md, Aprtl 1987 Chase,W C,and H A Stmon “Perceptton 1n Chess‘ Cogmtrve Psychology 4 (1973) 55~81 Cht, M, P Feltovrch, and R Glaser “Cate- gorwatron and Representatron of Physms Problems by Experts and Novrces " Cog— mttve We 5 (1981) 121—152 Chtpman, S F,J G Segal, and R Glaser, eds Thmlemg and Learnmg Sletlls Vol- ume 2 Current Research and Open Qumrons Htllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erl- baum Assocrates, 1985 Clements, D H ‘Elfecrs of Logo Program- mmg on Cogmtton, Metacogmttve Sktlls, and Achtevement" Presentanon at the American Educattonal Research Assocxa— tron conference, Chtcago, Aprtl 1985a Clements, D H “Research on Logo m Educatron Is the Turtle Slow But Steady, or Not Even tn the Race” Computer's m the Schools 2, 2/3 (1985b) 55—71 Clements,D H , andD F Gullo “Effects of Computer Programmmg on Young Chll- drens Cogmtton ’ Journal of Educa- tronal Psychology 76, 6 (1984) 1051— 1058 Clements, D H, and S Merrrman “Com- ponenttal Developments 1n Logo Pro- grammmg Envtronments “ In Teachmg and Leammg Computer Programrmng Multzple Research PW Hxllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Assocrates, In press Dalbey,J, and M C Lmn “The Demands and Requtrements of Computer Pro- grammmg A Ltterature Revrew” jour- nal of Educauonal Compunng Rmch 1 (1985) 253-274 de Groot, A D Thought and Charce m Chess The Hague Mouton, 1965 Delclos,V R,J L1ttlefield,andJ D ans- ford ‘Teachmg Thmklng Through Logo The Importance of Method " Roeper Re- wew 7, 3 (1985) 153—156 Feuerstem, R Inammental Emchment An Intervenaon Program for Cognmve Modtfiabrhtv Balumore UmversttyPat-k Press, 1980 32 Feurzelg, W , P Horwttz, and R Ntckerson Mzaocongouters m Educaaon (Repon No 4798) Cambrtdge, Mass Bolt, Beta- nek, and Newman, 1981 Hirsch, E D,Jr Cultural Laeracy What Every Amencan Needs to Know Boston Houghton Mtlflm, 1987 Larkm,J H ‘The Role of Problem Repre- sentation 1n Physws In Mental Models, edited by D Gentner and A L Stevens Hrllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Asso- cxates, 1983 Iarkth H ,J McDermott,D P Simon, and H A Stmon “Modes of Competence 1n Solvmg Physrcs Problems " Cogmtwe Scrence 4 (1980) 317—645 Lmn, M C “The Cognmve Consequences of Programmmg Instructton m Class- rooms ” Educatzonal Researcher 14 (1985) 14—29 Lrttlefield, J, V Delclos, S Lever, and] Bransford “Leammg Logo Method of Teachmg, Transfer of General Skxlls, At- titudes Toward Computers " In Teach- mg and Learnmg Computer Program mmg Multiple Rmrch Perspecttves Ilrllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Asso- crates, In press Ntckerson, R, D N Perktns, and E Smtth The Teachmg of Thmlemg Htllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Assocrates, 1985 Olson, D R “Culture, Technology, and Intellect ” In The Nature of Intellzgence, edtted by L B Resntck Htllsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Assocrates, 1976 Papert, S Mmdstorms Chrldrerz, Comput- ers, and Powerful Ideas New York Bastc Books, 1980 Perfetto, G A,J D Bransford, and] J Franks “Constramts on Access m a Prob- lem Solvrng Context Memory 6 Cogni- tton 11, I (1983) 24—31 Perkms, D N “The Fmgerttp Elfect How Informatnon-Processmg Technol- ogy Changes Thmkmg ’ Educatronal Researcher 14, 7 (1985) 11—17 Perkms, D N meledgeastgn Hllls- dale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum Assocxates, 1986a Perkms, D N “Thmkmg Frames ‘Educa- nonal Leadershp 43, 8 (1986b) 4—10 Perlnns, D N “Thmkmg Frames An Inte- grattve Perspecttve on Teaching Cogm— nve Sktlls ” In Teaching Thmlemg Skzlls Theory and Practice, edtted by} B Baron and R S Stemberg, pp 41~6I New York W H Freeman, 1986c Perktns, D N, and F Martm “Fragrle Knowledge and Neglected Strategtes In Novtce Programmers” In Emptrtcal Studtes of Programmers, edtted by E Soloway and S Iyengar, pp 213—229 Norwood, NJ Ablex, 1986 Perktns, D N, F Martin, and M Farady LOCI of Dgfi‘iadty m leammg to Pro gram (Educational Technology Center technical report) Cambndge, Mass Ed- ucational Technology Center, Harvard Graduate School of Educatton, 1986 Perktns, D , and G Salomon “Transfer and Teachmg Thmktng” In Thmlemg The Second Intemanonal Conference, ed~ tted by D N Perkms,J Lochhead, andJ BIShOp, pp 285-303 Htllsdale,NJ law- rence Erlbaum Assocrates, 1987 Salomon, G, and D N Perkms “Rocky Roads to Transfer.Reth1nktng Mecha- msms of a Neglected Phenomenon” Pa- per presented at the Conference on Thtnkmg, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambndge, Mass, August 1984 Salomon, G, and D N Perkms “Transfer of Cogmuve Sktlls from Programmtng When and How?" journal of Educa- ttonal Contoutmg Rwearch 3 (1987) 149—169 Schoenfeld, A H, and D J Herrmann ‘Problem Perceptton and Knowledge Structure m Expert and Novrce Mathe- mattcal Problem Solvers ” joufical of Expenmental Psychology Leammg, Memory, and Cogmtron 8 (1982) 484~ 494 Scrtbner, S , and M Cole The Psychology of Literacy Cambrtdge, Mass Harvard Um- verstty Press, 1981 Sherwood, R D, C K szer,J D Brans- ford, andJ J Franks ‘Some Benefits of Creating Macro-Contexts for Sctence In- structton Inrttal Fxndmgs" journal of Research m Scrence Teachmg 24 (1987) 417—435 Soloway, E, and K Ehrlich “Emplrlcal Studies of Programmmg Knowledge” IEEE Transacttons on Software Engr— neermg SE-lO, S (1984) 595—609 Authors’ note Some of the Ideas dts- cussed here were developed at the Educa- ttonal Technology Center of the Harvard Graduate School of Educatton, operatmg wrth support from the Office of Educattonal Research and Improvement (contract #OERI 400—83—0041) Opmtons expressed herem are not necessanly shared by OERI and do not represent Office pollcy D. N. Perkins 1s Oo-Dtrector, Protect Zero and the Educauonal Technology Center, Harvard Umversrty, Graduate School of Education, 315 Longfellow Hall, Apptan Way, Cambrtdge, MA 02158 Gavricl Salo- mon 15 a Professor at the Umversrty of Tel Avrv and at the College of Educanon, Um~ versrty of Anzona, Tucson, AZ 85721 Emcmom LEADERSHIP Copyright© 2002 EBSCO Publishing ...
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