She quickly calculates that 1230th is the same as

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Unformatted text preview: t his ball only putters a few feet from the tee. On his next try he makes good contact with the ball, but it hooks sharply and flies deep into the woods along the fairway. Emily’s cooking class has been given the assignment of baking one dozen chocolate chip cookies. The problem is that the receipt is for making 30 cookies. She quickly calculates that 12/30th is the same as 2/5th and adjusts the receipt accordingly. She thinks to herself, “This is just like what we do in chemistry class when we mix up 28 solutions with different concentrations.” As she looks around the room at her classmates she is surprised to see that many are having difficulty. In Allen’s case his perception is that baseball and golf are similar because they both have a ball and a stick. He is focusing on the surface features of the situation. The relationships, the way the golf club is held compared to a baseball bat, the motion involved in a proper swing is different for the two situations. Therefore, Allen is experiencing negative transfer. Emily’s classmates are focusing on the surface features of the cooking task, resulting in their failure to remember the appropriate information about proportions. However, Emily’s focus on the similar underlying relationships between chemistry and cooking class allows her to make an appropriate response to her cooking assignment, even though the similarity between the surface features of the two activities is low. Emily’s response is an example of far transfer. There are a number potential implications from the expert novice research for helping students develop a meaningful knowledge base that can be transferred to different situations. First, it should be noted that the development of an expert knowledge base is a lengthy and often effortful process (Norman, 1988). Students will need multiple exposures to a knowledge domain over time. Also, these exposures should help students identify key principles and concepts, their relationships to each other, and their relationships to various types of problems. Knowledge should be taught in terms of its connection to previous learning and its application in multiple settings, 29 Transfer of Procedural Knowledge Meaningfulness is also important when learning transferable skills. When students learn skills in a rote fashion they are less likely to use those skills in appropriate situations, and are more likely to apply the skills in inappropriate situations (Singley and Anderson, 1989). There are a number of considerations in helping students learn skills in a meaningful fashion. Initial learning stages. With regard to transfer, the early (cognitive) stages of learning a skill are especially critical (Singley & Anderson 1989, Sweller, 1989). According to information-processing theory, a new skill begins as declarative knowledge (Anderson, 1983; Fitts and Posner, 1967). It is during the cognitive stage, that the learners form a schema representing not only the nature of the skill, but also when and why the skill should be applied. The development of this declara...
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