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Unformatted text preview: Application of the difference principle is represented
in examples three through five of Figure 8.3. The only difference between examples three
and four is that one line has been rotated slightly so that the lines are no longer parallel.
By showing that only this slight change transforms a positive example to a negative
example, the learner will expect that more drastic changes in the same dimension will
also result in a negative example. Comparing example five with example four shows that
changing the orientation of either line results in a negative example. Applying the
difference principle will help the learners discriminate negative examples from positive
The Testing Principle. Examples six through eleven of Figure 8.3 show the
testing principle. Note that the first example tested, example six is also only minimally
different from the negative example presented in example five. Each example tests
learners’ ability to generalize (transfer) the concept to different situations.
From the examples presented in Figure 8.3 you might think that this technique is
only useful when teaching simple concepts, but examples may also be used to teach
cognitive problem-solving routines and complex factual relationships (Engelman and
Carnine, 1991). Typically problem-solving and reasoning activities can be organized as a
sequence of steps. The objective then becomes to teach each step of the sequence. As the
learners achieve a degree of mastery for separate steps the steps are combined with other
until the entire sequence is mastered.
Information Processing Approaches to Enhancing Transfer
From a cognitive perspective, transfer would involve the application of previously
learned knowledge. As you remember from Chapter 3, the two major forms of knowledge 18
are declarative and procedural knowledge. These two types of knowledge potentially
provide these four possible forms of transfer from a cognitive perspective (Brooks &
Dansereau, 1987; Singley & Anderson, 1989)
1) Students could transfer previously learned declarative knowledge to help
them acquire new declarative knowledge. In schools this often involves
the application of content learned earlier in a course or in a previous
course to the learning of new declarative knowledge. For example,
students might apply their knowledge of the Bill of Rights in learning
2) Students could transfer previously learned declarative knowledge to help
them apply or learn procedural knowledge. This would happen when
concepts or information students have previously learned help them
acquire or apply a skill, such as knowledge of place value helping students
develop a meaningful understanding of math procedures (Ho & Cheng,
3) Students could transfer previously learned procedural knowledge to the
learning of or application of new procedural knowledge. For example,
students may use previously learned math skills in a higher-level math
4) Students could transfer previously learned procedural knowledg...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08