Ivy view encourages a dynamic approach to
Ivy ShewardJanuary 23, 2018ECS 4101. Summary:Simply put, Rethinking Transfer: A simple Proposal with Multiple Implications by Bransford and Schwartz covers many topics under the themes of transfer and building toward further learning. The article opens discussing the common belief that it is better to educate than train students. The reading is split into five sections- 1. Key findings from literature on transfer, 2. Contrasting the traditional view of transfer with an alternate view that emphasizes the ability to learn how to transfer, 3. Discussing mechanisms for transfer that emphasize Broudy’s analysis of ‘knowing with’, 4. Showing how alternate views of transfer affect assumptions about valuable information and 5. Show how the author’s view encourages a dynamic approach to assessment. Moving on, the article discusses how experiences can lend to, or take away from, a student’s ability to transfer as well as how it is becoming more common to challenge assumptions about learning and transfer through research. To here 2. Points of interest (3) Point A. I found my first point of interest from the summary on page 94. After reading this document, I was under the impression that preparing students for future learning should be a teacher’s highest priority. Because of this, I was surprised to see a disclaimer-like statement urging teachers not to focus solely on preparing students for future learning, as some students do not have the experiences needed to prepare them. The authors write that you cannot only focus on preparing for future learning or mastery of content. They suggest instead, using dynamic assessments to help decide how successful each individual will be in future learning. I suppose I found this interesting in a ‘too much of a good thing’ way, this chapter preached preparing for future learning and it ends with a caution it can only be done to a point and to certain people more than others. Point B. My next point of interest is on page 88, titled ‘From Static to Dynamic Assessments’. It’s not a secret that one form of assessment works best for everyone. This section discusses two people (Person A and Person B). The example they gave was that both people interviewed for a job and were given a test. Person A was the more impressive candidate but over time, Person B’s willingness to learn made him the more valuable employee. This could have happened for many reasons but the reason cited was because Person B was more broadly prepared for future learning. Person A studied, knew the answers and that was enough for him but Person B, although he started out behind person A, continued to learn when his peer stopped, surpassed him in whatever was being measured. I found this interesting because typically society views Person A as the most successful person, but see now that Person B has great potential to surpass Person A and become a better student, employee etc. I think this is a matter of who is willing to continue learning and become a lifelong learner, which I believe is something all teachers should instill in their students to keep curiosity alive. Point C. The last idea I found interesting is the idea of negative transfer on page 80, titled ‘Perspectives on Negative Transfer and “Letting Go”‘. When I first read this section, I couldn’t understand why anyone would encourage learners to let go of information but as I reread it, I began to make sense of it. This theory is about letting go of information in order to replace it with newer or better information. Negative transfer also works toward preparing for future learning. I found this interesting because teachers put a lot of pressure on students to remember everything the students have been taught and it felt a little backwards at first. I can see this becoming necessary when changing teachers (for example, math teachers) because it is likely that different teachers teach different math solving methods. I can also see this benefiting teachers, letting go of some western teaching methods to make room for Indigenous teaching practices. How This Article Relates to Assessment:This article relates to assessment many ways. It revolves around the idea of transfer and preparing students for future learning. These two ideas prepare students to succeed in all kinds of assessments, not just the pen and paper exams. Page 62 says “…preparing for future learning shifts assessments of people’s abilities to learn in knowledge-rich environments” which boils down to creating willing to learn (and willing to ask for help) individuals. This article relates also to self-assessment, as transferring encourages students to self-assess the information they already know. The authors say that by helping students learn and retain a wide range of knowledge and teaching the students how knowledge improves their self-assessment prepares them. The reading then gives an example of two middle school classrooms, one in Nashville and one in Hong Kong. The Nashville class is writing about Chinese history and the Hong Kong students would critique it. The feedback was harsh until the teachers asked Nashville students to include a self-assessment of how they wrote with respect to the Chinese history. The Hong Kong students began to understand what the authors were trying to get at and began giving more positive feedback. Lastly, the article discusses sequestered problem-solving assessment (the scenario explained in point of interest B) and how it is not the end all be all of assessment. Sequestered problem-solving tests do capture current knowledge, but do not measure a student’s ability to learn which doesn’t make it the most effective or reliable assessment tool.