Faculty Publications

Title

Beyond physics: A case for far transfer

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Epistemology, Far transfer, Motivation, Philosophy, Physics, Transfer of learning

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Instructional Science

Volume

40

Issue

3

First Page

515

Last Page

535

Abstract

This is a case study of a physics undergraduate who claimed that he "uses physics to understand other subjects." This statement suggested that this student could describe issues concerning the transfer of learning and especially instances of far transfer. Detailed instances of far transfer have been difficult to replicate in lab settings. Therefore, three interviews were designed to investigate this student's claims about using physics to understand other subjects as a means to better understand far transfer processes. Transfer in this case study is defined as the personal construction of relations of similarity. Furthermore, I operationalize this definition of transfer via 12 aspects of transfer derived from the work of several contemporary researchers who study the transfer of learning. As part of this case study I also investigate the subject's motivation for engaging in far transfer. Directions for future research are discussed which includes the need to study the role of personal epistemology in far transfer as well as a larger investigation of students who transfer broadly across school subjects. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Original Publication Date

5-1-2012

DOI of published version

10.1007/s11251-011-9188-z

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