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ERIC Number: EJ910706
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0141-1926
Moving beyond the Metaphor of Transfer of Learning
Hager, Paul; Hodkinson, Phil
British Educational Research Journal, v35 n4 p619-638 Aug 2009
This paper argues that much contemporary educational policy makes assumptions about learning that are directly contradicted by the best research and theorising of learning that has occurred over the last decade and more. This worrying mismatch is largely attributable to adherence by policy makers (and other key stakeholders such as employers), to "common sense" notions of learning transfer. In fact, these "common sense" notions of transfer have increasingly been discarded even in the learning transfer literature. However, we go further in arguing that transfer is a totally inappropriate metaphor for thinking about most learning, but especially for vocational learning. Accepting that thought about learning inevitably involves metaphors, we consider the merits and otherwise of various other learning metaphors including participation and construction. We conclude that the conceptual flaws of transfer can be avoided by employing alternative metaphors. The value of our recommended alternative is illustrated by its power to illuminate data on learning collected from various research projects.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A