Finding One’s Place in Transfer Space在迁移空间中寻找一个位置
作者: David Klahr / 4297次阅读 时间: 2011年8月17日
来源: CHILD DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES 标签: 儿童学习 迁移空间 类比思维 迁移的模式

Finding One’s Place in Transfer Space
Child Development Perspectives, Volume 5, Number 3, 2011, Pages 196–204

1David Klahr 2and Zhe Chen
1Carnegie Mellon University and2University of California, Davis

ABSTRACT—‘‘Transfer’’ is a venerable issue in cognitive development and education. However, its very existenceis the subject of extensive debate, and there is as yet no consensus about its definition, measurement, and implications. This article proposes a 3-dimensional conceptual model of transfer distance for thinking about transfer of concepts or strategies in children, and presents somerecent findings on children’s transfer of scientific reasoning strategies—task similarity, context similarity, and temporal interval—that exemplify these three dimensions. These studies yield several important and robust findings regarding children’s learning and transfer in problem solving within this model, which provides a valuable organizing framework for objectively measuring transfer distance and for guiding future research in children’s learning.

KEYWORDS—scientific reasoning; children’s learning; transfer space; analogical thinking; models of transfer; problem solving


The aim of this brief summary of some recent investigations of children’s transfer of problem-solving and scientific reasoning strategies is to describe some new ways to conceptualize and operationalize the elusive construct of ‘‘transfer distance.’’ We have described a number of studies that examine how different instructional approaches affect different types of transfer in chilldren at different ages. These studies yield several important and robust findings regarding children’s learning and transfer in problem solving within the present transfer distance framework. First, the transfer distance between problems predicts the degree of transfer performance (Chen & Klahr, 1999; Chen et al., 2011; Klahr & Chen, 2003). Second, with age, children are increasingly capable of transferring learned concepts or strategies to more remote situations (Chen & Klahr, 1999; Chen et al., 2011; Klahr & Chen, 2003). In other words, younger children show robust relatively near transfer, whereas older children demonstrate more remote transfer. Third, more direct and explicit instruction proves to be particular advantageous for relatively near transfer, whereas mindful and exploratory approaches are sometimes equally effective for more remote transfer (Klahr & Chen, 2003; Strand-Cary & Klahr, 2008). That is, as transfer distance increases, the immediate advantage of direct instruction over discovery learning is diminished, and the two methods may become equally effective in facilitating remote transfer. The analyses of transfer distance within this framework, and the relations between transfer distance and age differences in transfer performance and effects of various instructional approaches, have both significant theoretical and educational implications and warrant further investigation.

These studies are only initial steps in exploring remote transfer in children. With the ‘‘rebirth’’ of research on children’s learning (Siegler, 2000, 2006), we are beginning to see more studies investigating children’s transfer and generalization of strategies, and research on near and remote transfer is beginning to flourish. One fruitful avenue for further study is to explore how to promote optimal remote transfer and to pinpoint exactly how different instructional approaches facilitate various types of transfer. Furthermore, although developmental differences in transfer are evident, the mechanisms underlying those age differences remain to be explored. Although the studies we described above have begun to shed light on the relations between instructional approaches and children’s transfer of scientific reasoning strategies at different transfer distances, additional studies must systematically manipulate the three dimensions of transfer distance depicted in Figure 1. Despite the incommensurate nature of the different dimensions, this conceptual model nevertheless provides a valuable organizing framework for objectively measuring transfer distance and for guiding future research in children’s learning


TAG: 儿童学习 迁移空间 类比思维 迁移的模式
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