What MUST teachers that attempt to teach “Conceptual Transfer” do?

This was a question posed to me by a friend, colleague, blogger, and IB practitioner.  Actually, the question asked for my “top 5 MUST dos” related to this question.

It has had me thinking this week, and I have had trouble coming up with my “top 5”.  In the end, I settled on “my top 5 for now” when I replied to me friend.

If teachers are attempting to teach for “Conceptual Transfer” (for more on teaching for Conceptual Learning, check out the works of Lynn Erickson ), here are some of my ideas for success.

1.  Teachers access and activate prior knowledge.

2.  Teachers use physical and mental models, and teach students how to use them.

3.  Teachers make it explicit when “transfer” is happening to them personally.

4.  Teachers make it explicit when “transfer” would be a benefit to students (related to #1, but #4 also implies leading students to see where what they are learning now… will become useful “prior knowledge” in the future).

5.   Teachers must be aware of what students are learning, both vertically and horizontally (i.e. horizontally = same grade level…vertically = same discipline).

#5 leads me to think: what must a Learning Institution do if it is to teach for “conceptual transfer”?

What are your thoughts about teaching for conceptual transfer, either as an indivual or as an institution?

Whew, now that I’ve posted mine…I can go see what my friend, Gareth Jacobson, has to say…check out his thoughts about “teaching for transfer” on his latest blog posting.


About ibdanmagie

Generalist Educator that believes learning without action is wasteful. Transfer is an educational concept that resonates with me.
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4 Responses to What MUST teachers that attempt to teach “Conceptual Transfer” do?

  1. Great to see you start blogging Dan, I particularly like #2. Do you have any samples of models you use? It would be great if you could share. I also like #5 as this is a vision I love to ponder about from time to time – keep up the posting!

    • ibdanmagie says:

      Thank you Gareth! Perhaps that could be my next posting, examples of #2, models. One model I use over and over in the Middle Years Programme, is the concept of concentric circles. For example, when we talk about taking action, we start with ourselves, then draw a circle of family and friends, then school community, larger community, geographical region, world, (or some iteration like that); this helps us to “think globally, while acting locally”. I was thinking about posting details about each of my “top 5 for now” ideas…thank you for prompting me to consider ACTION!

  2. Pingback: Explicit examples of “transfer” and use of “models” | transferable

  3. Pingback: The use of models to help me learn | transferable

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