Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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11. Lessons for Life - Learning and Transfer
“We don't learn in school just to stay in school for the rest of our lives. We have to be able to transfer what we learn in one setting and use it somewhere else. In order to transfer our knowledge we have to be able to learn things in a way that is flexible, that sees the connections between one use of the knowledge and another use of the knowledge.”
Linda Darling-Hammond
three students building

Key Questions:
  • How do people transfer skills and knowledge from one situation to another?
  • How can we teach for transfer?
boy with colored liquid

Learning Objectives:

  1. Conditions for transfer – Teachers will understand what conditions are needed for knowledge and skills learned in one context to be retrieved and applied to a new situation.
  2. Teaching for transfer – Teachers will develop ideas about how to facilitate transfer in their own classrooms and how to build bridges for their students between concepts, activities, and lessons.

Video Program

This episode describes what conditions are needed for knowledge and skills learned in one context to be retrieved and applied to a novel situation, and how different teaching strategies can increase the possibilities for transfer. The episode features Julie Helber, a fourth grade teacher at Paddock Elementary School, Milan, Michigan, and Donald Johnson, a seventh and eighth grade teacher at Columbus Middle School, Detroit, Michigan. Lee S. Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, provides expert commentary.

Key Terms - New in this Session

cultural expectations and knowledge

general transfer

graduated prompting

prior knowledge

specific transfer


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