The basic rules are the same but the car looks

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Unformatted text preview: nowledge. A student who is new to that subject is a novice, and in contrast, has a very difficult time learning the same information, not because he or she is less smart than the expert college professor, but because there are few connections between new and existing information and every connection has to be “manufactured.” You have probably experienced this yourself if you have ever taken a course on a topic for which you have had no background. It takes courage to enroll in a course outside one’s comfort zone and persistence to stick with it because as you struggle to learn a whole new vocabulary and set of concepts, it may feel as though the teacher is talking in a foreign language. As with neuroscience’s neuronal networks, cognitive psychology’s schemata change and grow as we experience and learn new things throughout our life. The Role of Transfer in Active Learning When we encounter new information, our brain searches for any past learnings that are similar to or associated with something we have already experienced. If our brain finds something, the corresponding neuronal networks or schema are activated, reinforcing the already- stored information as well as assisting in interpreting and assigning meaning to the new information. Svinicki (2004a, p. 99) notes that there are many types of transfer, but two types are the most important for purposes of teaching and learning. The first is positive versus negative transfer. If the connections our brain makes between new and existing understandings are accurate, the search results in positive transfer that can aid us in integrating new learning. If, on the other hand, the connections are incorrect, the result is negative transfer, which creates confusion and errors. For example, if we are an English speaker learning Spanish, “mucho” in Spanish sounds similar to “much” in English and is an easy word for us to learn. On the other hand, “mano a mano” sounds like “man to man” and is often translated as such, though it actually means “hand to hand.” The second type of transfer is near versus far transfer, which refers to the type of task. Near transfer occurs between tasks that look very much alike and follow the same rules for responding, while a far transfer task is where the same rules appl...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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