|How Children Learn (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 32 p.)|
Learning becomes more meaningful when the lessons are applied to real-life situations.
Students often cannot apply what they have learned at school to solve real-world problems. For example, they may learn about Newton's laws at school but fail to see how they apply in real-life situations. Transfer is very important. Why should someone want to go to school if what is learned there does not transfer to other situations and cannot be used outside the school?
In the classroom
Teachers can improve students' ability to transfer what they have learned at school by:
· Insisting on mastery of subject matter. Without an adequate degree of understanding, transfer cannot take place (see previous principle).
· Helping students see the transfer implications of the information they have learned.
· Applying what has been learned in one subject-matter area to other areas to which it may be related.
· Showing students how to abstract general principles from concrete examples.
· Helping students learn how to monitor their learning and how to seek and use feedback about their progress.
· Teach for understanding rather than for memorization (see previous principle).
References: Bruer, 1993; Bransford, Brown & Cocking, 1999; Bereiter, 1997.