Recasting transfer as a socio-personal process of adaptable learning
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What is usually referred to as transfer is typically cast as an educational problem. Instead, it should be viewed as an issue of learning. Essentially, adapting what we know from one circumstance to another is a part of normal cognitive processes. This comprises individuals construing what is being experienced, aligning and reconciling them with what they already know and responding to them by constructing a response. All of these are shaped by their capacities and interest in exercising effortful thinking and acting, particularly, if the task is demanding. Yet, the labelling of such a process as transfer seems to arise from focuses on the efficacy of educational institutions and their processes and outcomes. A fundamental justification and imperative for such institutions is that what is learnt in them is applicable elsewhere, otherwise their existence is compromised. Yet, their ability to fulfil these expectations has been long questioned and, at times, has caused crises in educational systems and institutions, and the processes of teaching and standing of those who teach. Expectations of educational systems generating wholesale adaptable learning (i.e. transferable knowledge) are often unrealistic and unreasonable. To moderate expectations and inform practice, the premises for this transfer of knowledge need to be understood more fully on the basis of learning processes. Indeed, the prospects for this kind of adaptability are premised upon factors and contributions that have personal dimensions as well as those associated with the physical and social world (e.g. educational provisions). Here, a socio-personal conception of adaptability is advanced that may assist such systems and institutions, their teachers and learners (e.g. students) promote adaptability of that learning. It proposes this process comprises individuals construing what is experienced, reconciliation with what is known and, in response, construction of new knowledge or adaptability. These processes are also analogous to what is referred elsewhere as moving from embodiment, to dis-embodiment to re-embodiment; and also being contextualised, de-contextualised and then re-contextualised.
Educational Research Review
© 2013 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Education Systems not elsewhere classified
Technical, Further and Workplace Education