Transfer of Learning Importance and Types
Nov 25, 2013 Learning Methodology 2521 Views
Why do parents send their children to school? Why are you reading this now? Why does the government spend tax payers money in funding public education? Why does the teacher teach principles, concepts, facts, etc? Is school learning relevant to real life situations?
These questions are focusing on the usefulness of education and learning to the learner and to the society. This is the subject of transfer of learning.
Parents send their children to school because they believe the school can transmit desirable attitudes, skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes to the children. The government funds public schools because it hopes that by so doing the society will have citizens that are productive and self reliant; that have a positive attitude to fellow citizens, public and private property, that will shun crime and live peacefully with others, and that can bring social progress.
Thus, parents, governments, teachers and citizens all believe that learning gained in school should be useful in helping the learner to progress further in school and to be able to solve real life problems. Unless the school is able to give to its pupils learning experiences that will help them in meeting the challenges in school and later in life, then it can not justify its existence.
All school learning should be useful in further learning at school and outside school. The school should produce children that are "self-reliant."
Learning in each subject should not only make subsequent learning in the subject simpler, it should also relate to teaching in other subjects, and it should prepare the child for life outside school. What is the essence of Social Studies if it can not help the society in producing better citizens? Why teach Science if it will not make the children more scientific in their attitude behavior in general and attitude in particular? What is the need for teaching English, French, or any other language if it will not improve communication.
The transfer of learning is the cornerstone upon which the educational system rests.
What then is the Transfer of Learning?
Transfer of learning or transfer of training as it is sometimes called is the influence that a person's learning in one situation has on his learning and performance in other situations. It is the carry over of learning experiences in one situation into other learning experiences.
When we make use of our skills in Badminton to play Lawn Tennis, it means that we have transferred our learning experiences in badminton to lawn tennis. If a student carries over his learning of addition and subtraction of money in school to the real life shopping situation (where he gives or takes change), then there has been a transfer of learning. Thus, the whole concept of transfer of learning is about how much and in what manner that the learning of a given material aids, hinders or has no effect upon subsequent learning.
There are two types of transfer of learning in school system. When we think of transfer of learning, we usually consider how one learning experience strengthens another. We need to realize that some learning experiences do weaken others. In other words, transfer of learning may be positive in which case learning in situation facilitates or helps our learning in others, or it may be negative in which case one learning experience interferes with or weakens another. It is also possible that there may be no effect at all of learning one material on another. In this case we say there is no transfer.