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Transfer of Learning Essay Sample

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Transfer of Learning Essay Sample

Instructional theory focuses on how to structure learning materials in order to allow for easy understanding of concepts. It encourages the use of interactive, cooperative and participatory teaching strategies that ensure active involvement of students. Learning theory, on the other hand, attempts to describe and explain how people learn; it also explores the circumstances and conditions under which an individual learns best. Learning theories may fall under three different categories which are cognitivism, behaviorism, and constructivism.

Certain conditions of learning enhance learning by students. Visual aids, physical objects, active participation by students and feedbacks on their performance is essential to assimilation by students and transfer of knowledge (Cambourne).

Transfer of learning plays a very important role in learning because it is one of the major determinants of the level of assimilation of students. Transfer is said to have taken place when a student can use the knowledge or concepts learned in one context in another context, whether similar or not (Mestre, 2002).

Learning processes should be explicit and enhance students’ understanding. While explaining probability to a grade eight class, I used red and blue balls including the example of coin tossing to illustrate the concept of probability to the students; the use of physical objects enhanced the learning process. Explaining probability by relating it to coin tossing, which is a familiar activity also increased their understanding. This is in support of the cognitive theory (Barrett, 2003). Over time, I have also found that the use of graphics and pictures to represent concepts allows students to learn faster. According to Mestre, transfer of knowledge is greatly dependent on previous knowledge. Transfer of learning is also hastened when topics learnt are spaced out sufficiently so that students do not get confused (2002)

References

Barrett, C. (2003). Cognitive Learning Theory – Web Quest. Retrieved April 2, 2008 from

website: http://suedstudent.syr.edu/~ebarrett/ide621/cognitive.htm

Cambourne, B. Brian Cambourne’s Conditions of Learning. Retrieved April 2, 2008 from website: http://www.elizabethstps.vic.edu.au/cambourne.htm

Mestre, J. (2002). Transfer of Learning: Issues and Research Agenda. National Science Foundation

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