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Unformatted text preview: egic transfer of prior learning
(Alexander & Murphy, 1999). When students apply prior learning in effective ways, you
may want to take time to discuss what they did well with those students or with the whole
class if it can be done without embarrassing a student.
Principle 6.2: Learners Are More Motivated By Activities That Appeal to Their
Personal Needs, Motives, And Interests
Students’ interest in what they are learning is related to their willingness to
engage in meaningful learning activities (Pintrich & Schunk, 2002; Schiefele, 1990). This
is important because the active, meaningful learning often required as a prerequisite for
transfer can be extremely demanding and requires a commitment on the part of the
student. However, some attempts to create situational interest in a learning task may
actually undermine students’ ability to learn for transfer. For example, the term seductive 53
details is used to describe details that are added to text to increase interest, but that are not
related to the intended meaning of the text. These types of details have been found to
have an adverse effect not only on learning but transfer (Harp & Mayer, 1997, 1998;
Mayer, Hieser, & Lonn, 2001). This may occur because the seductive details may cause
students to impose an inappropriate theme or schema onto the text. The interest that
teachers generate in a learning task should be tied to the important ideas or meaning of
what is being learned.
In terms of task value, teaching for transfer can help teachers establish the utility
value for their lessons. Utility value is the usefulness of learning for students’ future
goals (Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). As mentioned earlier, teachers should include clear
guidance about where knowledge can be used to increase the likelihood of transfer. By
helping students learn how knowledge can be applied both in and out of school, teachers
are demonstrating utility value for the learning.
Principle 6.3: Learners Are More Motivated When They Have Specific Near-Term
Goals That They Believe Are Important
Goals are important for student learning because they help students envision
desired outcomes, and they help them monitor their progress toward those outcomes. If
the goal is to have students apply what they have learned, then that needs to be made
explicit to students so that they can learn in ways that are best matched to those
outcomes. Helping students know when and where a strategy can be used can help them
understand what the goal is for learning the strategy. 54
General Suggestions for Teaching for Transfer
Throughout this chapter we have presented various theoretical perspectives on
transfer and application of those perspectives into instructional techniques and strategies.
While each theory presents a unique perspective on the nature of transfer there are a
number of themes that seems to cut across theoretical boundaries. Keeping these general
themes in mind as you plan and execute instruction will enhance your students’ ability to
transfer what they learn in yo...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08