Who's the boss? Culture and the problem of transfer

Article


Green, Jonathan H.. 2010. "Who's the boss? Culture and the problem of transfer." The International Journal of Learning. 17 (6), pp. 393-402.
Article Title

Who's the boss? Culture and the problem of transfer

ERA Journal ID20233
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorGreen, Jonathan H.
Journal TitleThe International Journal of Learning
Journal Citation17 (6), pp. 393-402
Number of Pages10
Year2010
Place of PublicationChampaign, Illinois, USA
ISSN1447-9494
1447-9540
Web Address (URL)http://www.Learning-Journal.com
Abstract

[Abstract]:
Transfer of learning, although arguably education’s most important goal, is also its most pervasive problem. Research confirms one of the classroom teacher’s most common complaints: that learners do not transfer what they have learnt in one subject to another, or fail to use what they have learnt in the school setting in the 'real world.' There may be many reasons for this – one being that transfer is often left to take care of itself. To counter this, cognitive-based strategies, such as 'hugging' and 'bridging', suggest that educators pay active attention to both structural and instructional elements in order to effect transfer: educators, can, for example, draw learners’ attention to extra-contextual opportunities to use their learning, or coach them to develop the thinking skills that allow the abstraction of transferrable principles.
Conceptualizations such as these, however, do not go far enough. Because these interventions rely on the instructor, the sought-after transfer may not occur once the learner is removed from the context and is required to act independently. What is preferred is a self-motivated, autonomous, mastery-oriented learner – one who will actively seek opportunities using his or her skills or knowledge in new contexts. Such a learner, however, will only develop if cultural conditions so allow.

This discussion explores the link between culture, learner agency, and transfer of learning. In so doing, it examines practical cultural concerns, particularly in a Thai context, that may help or hinder transfer of learning.

Keywordstransfer of learning, learner agency, personal epistemology, culture, higher education
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
390401. Comparative and cross-cultural education
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Public Notes

Copyright is attributed to the author. Access restricted to paper at author's request.

Byline AffiliationsMahidol University, Thailand
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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