Monday, May 2, 2016

Re-Energized by Getting Back to Basics- Transferability

My day today keeps circling around to "transfer".

First, it was continuing to work on various aspects of our school's newly adopted school wide learning expectations--the Deeper Learning competencies. Seeing so many amazing things that our students and educators do and are able to create, we have been working on figuring out the best way to honor this work. Before getting started today, I reread "Deeper Learning Defined" to refocus my attention to the work that needs to be done. In this document, which defines the six Deeper Learning Competencies, one finds the call for transferability:
"Master core academic content. Students develop and draw from a baseline understanding of knowledge in an academic discipline and are able to transfer knowledge to other situations."
It goes on to say:
"Deeper learning activities require learners to draw information from knowledge they have acquired and then do something meaningful with it. Because the brain must develop the internal wiring necessary to process information efficiently in non-routine ways, deeper learning activities should be structured to give students multiple opportunities, over time, to apply knowledge in a range of challenging tasks. In essence, the learner moves from the novice to the expert level within the sphere of knowledge and expertise in question. This requires a range of strategies for processing information in sophisticated ways."
Later on this morning I came across TeachThought's repost of Grant Wiggins' "The Point Of School Isn’t To Get Good At School". In it Wiggins reminds us:
"Arguably transfer is the aim of any education.
Given that there is too much for anyone to learn; given that unpredictability is inevitable; given that being flexible and adaptive with one’s repertoire is key to any future success, it stands to reason that we should focus our ‘backward-design’ efforts on the goal of transfer, regardless of what and who we teach..."
Today's reoccurrences of "transfer" has served as a timely reminder to me that sometimes simply getting back to the basic tenants of learning can refocus and re-energize us so we can then effectively promote and support the critical aspects of a meaningful education.