Cumulative Learning Using “Far Transfer”

Cumulative learning using “Far Transfer” is a term used by Susan Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovet and Marie K. Norman in their book How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, which, put simply, means applying what you’ve learned in the past to what you’re now learning, and all of that to what you will learn in the future. It is part of the goal of educators to imbibe this ability to students throughout their education, in hopes that it will become ever increasingly implemented in the classroom and in life in general.

For instance, learning the laws of logic can be applied to any future coursework and situation in life. Far Transfer can be thought of as broadly as the tie that binds all education, the common thread that runs through all learning. Something as broad as the big questions, such as why there is existence at all, what is the nature of intelligence, and what is humanity’s place in the universe, can be the overarching framework that informs Far Transfer by tying all things together. It can also be thought of as something as small and specific as knowing the historical Latin or Greek roots of words, which illuminate the reading of a book. The ability to apply what has already been learned is possible inside and outside of class.

That educators want their students to apply what they’ve learned outside the classroom can arguably be considered the main goal of education. There shouldn’t be two worlds in which students exist, in the classroom and outside of it, and never the ‘tween shall meet. In your studies, imagine ways in which whatever you’re learning can be applied to other classes and to aspects of life in general. And always keep this notion of the applicability of what you’ve learned, and are learning, in mind. It is a danger to think about what is being learned as only applying to specific contexts, and no other contexts. It may be the case that a specific particular study is only applicable in that class, but it is a false assumption that this is always the case.

Most things that are learned are applicable and relevant to the rest of life. Don’t be afraid to try new classes and apply learning to new contexts in life. It is just this ability that makes for the most interesting ideas and profound ingenuity in the world. See which program is right for you using the Degree Finder, and request more information from various colleges. Get started on your education today, an interesting world of possibilities can open up to you.


Cumulative Learning Using Far Transfer